(Reuters) - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban declared that Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook is “not a superstar” and then watched as the point guard eliminated the Mavs from the playoffs on Monday.
A controversial owner known for ruffling feathers, Cuban stated prior to Game Five that the Thunder only have one superstar, Kevin Durant.
“I think (Westbrook is) an All Star, but not a superstar,” Cuban told reporters prior to his team’s season-ending 118-104 loss.
“I consider Durant a superstar. There’s only a few guys that you put them on any team and they’ll win 50 games. To me that’s the definition of a superstar.” Westbrook responded with a dominant performance of 36 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists, lifting Oklahoma City to a 4-1 best-of-seven series victory.
With Dallas trailing by just three in the final quarter, the five-time All Star Westbrook ran off eight straight points for his team to effectively put the game and the debate to rest.
Durant further drove the point home following the contest.
“He’s an idiot,” Durant said of Cuban. “That’s what we got to say about that. He’s an idiot. Next question.”
Westbrook has faced his share of criticism throughout his career as a shoot-first point guard who does not always defer to Durant.
But after leading the NBA in scoring a season ago, Westbrook rounded out his game this campaign and led the league with 18 triple-doubles, the most since Magic Johnson in 1981-82.
Westbrook and the Thunder will now face San Antonio in the Western Conference semi-finals.
Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; editing by Amlan Chakraborty