Opinion: Westbrook a superstar, Why Not?

Ty Sugick

Before game 5 of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Dallas Mavericks playoffs matchup, owner and billionaire Mark Cuban spoke out about the OKC superstar(s) or lack there of.

Cuban referred to the Thunder as a “one-trick pony,” that pony is Kevin Durant in his eyes. He added that he feels Westbrook is an All-Star but not a superstar.

Durant answered back in the postgame presser stating “He’s an idiot,” repeatedly, referring to Cuban.

In this debacle, Durant is right. If this were two years ago, Cuban might have an argument but now, Russell Westbrook is an All-Star for many reasons on and off the court.

Westbrook’s play is a major factor in what Oklahoma City is doing; the team struggles when either he or Durant are missing in the lineup. The idea that the team struggles to win games in a very intense Western Conference when Durant isn’t playing is not a substantial argument.

If that’s someone’s main point as to why he is not a superstar, then ask yourself this: Is DeMarcus Cousins a superstar? How about Carmelo Anthony? Both of these guys struggle to make the postseason year-in and year-out, but they’re not questioned for their superstardom.

There are very few guards who posses anything close to Westbrook’s skill-set and motor. He is a game-changer anytime he steps onto the court, and his career numbers reflect that. He also carries a very high basketball IQ. He was able to transition from shooting guard to point guard, and being told you are a shooter, then being forced to handle and distribute the ball more than usual is a tough transition.

In the past, opposing teams could throw off Westbrook’s game with mind games, as in his earlier years when it was easy to frustrate him when games got tough. In time, he has worked on his ability to keep his cool and use his anger as a drive to come back and make an even more spectacular play.

Even off the court, becoming a fashion icon only helps increase his superstardom. He accompanies his fashion sense and basketball skills to even give back and help out children with his Russell Westbrook Why Not? campaign.

But back to the facts. Russell Westbrook has a career average of 21.5 points, 7.6 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game throughout his career, with the numbers steadily increasing year by year. He is now in a superstar league with his versatility, and Mark Cuban and any other doubter must respect a man who carries the shooting confidence of Kobe Bryant and the chip on his shoulders of Metta World Peace, formerly known as Ron Artest.

So, to the question of Russell Westbrook being a superstar combo guard in the NBA, the best answer is, why not?

Ty Sugick is a columnist for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].