Mark Cuban says Russell Westbrook is not in the mix for the MVP

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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has not been a public fan of Oklahoma City Thunder star Russell Westbrook. He famously said last year that Westbrook was not a superstar. Cuban hasn’t really budged on that opinion lately, and on Sunday it appeared the tech billionaire doesn’t think the triple-double averaging Westbrook is even in the MVP conversation.

Speaking to reporters before the Mavericks took on the Thunder, Cuban said Houston Rockets star James Harden was battling Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James for the Maurice Podoloff Trophy.

Via Twitter:

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, however, was more gracious in his appreciation for Westbrook’s talent.

Via ESPN:

“It’s amazing what Westbrook is doing. He just has boundless energy. He never slows down. His wide-ranging skills to do all these different things, and the tenacity that you have to have to average that many rebounds, is just impossible to describe. I’m in awe of it.”

Westbrook is averaging 31.7 points, 10.1 assists, and 10.7 rebounds per-game. He’s got 30 triple-doubles, the most in the NBA and twice as many as Harden.

He’s played in 62 games so far this season, so Westbrook is grabbing a triple-double roughly every other game. With 20 games left to go for the Thunder, including Sunday’s contest in Dallas, it’s entirely possible he hits Oscar Robinson’s record from 1961-62 of 41 triple-doubles in a single season.

The league recently surpassed the high water mark for total triple-doubles in a season thanks in large part to Westbrook, and it is poised to surpass triple figures in that regard by the end of the year.

Cuban, meanwhile, still doesn’t even think Westbrook is a superstar. Or perhaps he’s just trolling?

“The criteria hasn’t changed,” said Cuban. “And if I changed my mind, it’d ruin all the fun with you guys.”