The comments came as part two of an interview with 13-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Phil Hellmuth. Other than winning bracelets, Hellmuth’s next favorite thing in the world might be telling everyone else about the famous people he knows.
We’re not sure how much poker Hellmuth actually plays with NBA stars to warrant his ability to rate their poker games. But hey, this is a soft spot for a sports TV show. Hellmuth is a Golden State Warriors fans and lists David Lee, Andrew Bogut and Steph Curry as the best poker players from that team. (Hellmuth has hosted a charity poker event with Warriors players, and also likes to talk about how Lee beat up him for $32,000 at a home game.)
The bomb Hellmuth drops is the ability of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, who is a candidate for NBA MVP this season.
“Westbrook is like a professional level poker player,” Hellmuth says. That seems like a little bit of exaggeration, but Hellmuth does note that Westbrook often seeks out cardrooms during his time off. Will we be seeing Westbrook at a WSOP in the near future, if the Thunder aren’t making a playoff run?
He also calls Westbrook’s fellow Thunder star Kevin Durant a “tight, patient player.”
Later Hellmuth also talks about the San Antonio Spurs he has played with, such as Tim Duncan and Tony Parker.
You can watch the entire interview here.
On Twitter: @Dustin Gouker