Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has put his foot in his mouth a whole heck of a lot since taking over the team. It’s part of his draw. He speaks his mind, even if the facts don’t line up with his opinion.
This was never more clear than during the 2015-16 NBA Playoffs when Cuban refused to acknowledge that Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was a superstar. This ridiculously hot take was met by criticism from then Westbrook teammate Kevin Durant (more on that here).
Now with Durant on the Warriors and Westbrook forced to fend for himself in Oklahoma City, the point guard is having himself a tremendous season. He enters this week’s action averaging a triple-double at 31.1 points, 10.9 rebounds and 11.0 assists per game.
If those aren’t superstar numbers, we’re not too sure what are. Heck, Russ is quickly finding himself in Oscar Robertson territory here.
Even then, Cuban seems content with doubling down on his claim that Westbrook isn’t a true superstar.
“He’s (Westbrook) putting up superstar numbers. That’s for damn sure,” Cuban said recently, via ESPN.com. “I’m not taking anything away from what he’s been able to accomplish, but I’m not going to change my definition. He’s putting up superstar numbers. You can’t deny that. That’s no disrespect to Russell. He’s been a beast. Few have done what he’s done, but I’ll stick by my definition. I’m not saying that he’s not going to prove me wrong and that he (won’t be) a superstar by the end of the year. That’s fine, but I’ll stick by my definition.”
Cuban’s stance here is that Westbrook has yet to win a title, so he can’t be considered a superstar. Apparently this means the likes of Charles Barkley and Karl Malone weren’t superstars during their days.
Whatever Cuban’s reasoning is here, it’s definitely flawed. You don’t have to bring home a trophy to be considered a superstar in the professional sports world. That’s not how the term is defined, even by those who attempt to define it as loosely as possible.