Which Career Would You Rather Have: Tony Parker vs Russell Westbrook?

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:

Tony Parker

  • 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.

Russell Westbrook

  • 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:

Verdict

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?