The conversation passed my desk via the tweet above, but it started with ESPN ranking the 74 best NBA players of all time. ESPN has Parker ranked 70th all-time, while Westbrook checks in at 42 which begged the question: which career would YOU rather have?
Let's go to the tale of the tape:
- Playing career 1999-2019, earnings $168 million dollars
- 4x NBA Champion (2003, 2005, 2007, 2014). Finals MVP 2007
- 6x All-Star, 4x All-NBA (Three Second teams, one Third team)
- 9-year peak (2005-06 through 2013-14 season): 19/3/6 on 51/32/77 shooting
- Postseason career: 226 games (sixth-most all-time), 18/3/5 on 46/31/73 shooting
- 1 career triple-double, billions of triple-singles
- Fucked teammates wife
- Almost lost an eye after hit with a bottle after a club fight between Chris Brown and Drake. No seriously.
- Playing career 2008-present, earnings $168 million dollars. 4-years/$170 million left on current contract
- 2017 NBA Most Valuable Player, 2x All-Star Game MVP, 2x Scoring Title, 2x Assists Leader
- 9x All-Star, 8x All-NBA (Two First Teams, five Second Teams, one Third Team)
- 9-year peak (2011-12 through 2019-20): 25/8/9 on 44/31/80 shooting
- Postseason career: 98 games, 25/7/8 on 41/30/84 shooting. 25.4 PPG postseason average is 13th all time
- 146 career triple-doubles
- Threatened to fight fan and his wife
- Played with a dent in his head:
This isn't who is the better player because that's clearly Russ. It isn't who had more team success because that's clearly Tony. The question is which career would I rather have and the answer is easily Russell Westbrook. He's a better player, he's much cooler, he's made a lot more money and I'd rather have highlights like these:
The team success of Parker is tempting though. He's just good enough to get mentioned when talking about the good times but not quite TD/Pop/Kawhi level in terms of getting talked about or blamed for things. That's the sweet spot for a professional athlete. But then I'd have to be French, become a bad teammate while balancing that with being a terrible husband. That and you couldn't pay me to wear a Parker jersey or watch a video of Parker highlights. No thank you, please.
Still, even if it's only on-court stuff I'm going with Russ. The three-year run of triple-doubles, him being beloved in OKC and him making more money on this contract than Parker made in his career settles it for me. He's also only 31 so I wouldn't be surprised to see him retire with a ring. Will he be the best player on a title team? No, but neither was Parker and both had great careers all the same. Give me Russ.
Who you got?