Ahead of their matchup in game five against the Thunder, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had some choice words for Russell Westbrook.
“I think he’s an All-Star but not a superstar,” Cuban said before watching his team get torched by the very man he aimed his comments at.
Westbrook’s coming off a season where he averaged 23.5 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 10.4 assists while ringing in 18 triple-doubles.
He continued by explaining what he believes makes a superstar, “the way I define a superstar is, who do you want the ball in the hands of at the end of a game when you need a bucket?”
Analyzing his statements a little more, Cuban seems to believe that Westbrook has an issue in late-game situations which isn’t entirely false, as Westbrook has a very dynamic, high-intensity play style.
Tim MacMahon of ESPN pointed out various clutch stats (score differential five points or less with less than five minutes left) that seem to validate Cuban’s remarks. Russ shoots 38.9% from the field in those situations, but for comparative purposes Kevin Durant shoots 41.2%, Damian Lillard shoots 37.4%, and Kawhi Leonard shoots 41.9%, are those guys not superstars?
Westbrook messed around and almost got a triple-double as the Thunder finished off the Mavs in the fifth game, 118-104. Russ finished with a game-high 36 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists while committing just three turnovers. Durant had himself quite a night as well, tallying 33 points and seven rebounds.
After the game, the duo was asked about Cuban’s comments, and Durant restrained his partner from answering and rapidly answered back by calling Cuban an “idiot,” and asking for the next question. Westbrook followed KD’s statements by taking hilariously-uncalled for shots at Charlie Villanueva after he tried to interrupt his dancing and lingered behind him before tip-off.