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NBA Summer Vacation Watch: Nurturing the World, and Also Sun Tans

Why do Justise Winslow and his pig friend look like they're about to drop the most fire mixtape?
Images via Instagram/@joelembiid, @iamjustise

I’d like to go ahead and thank a large portion of the Cleveland Cavalier’s bench right off the bat this week. There’s a saying pertaining to the universe that when there aren’t enough NBA summer vacations being taken, the cosmos will correct itself and send away those the rest of us have plum forgotten about on a rippin’ good time. The exact wording is in Latin and you can ask me to recite it the next time you see me at the swim-up bar.


Joel Embiid

This joke continues to be one of, if not the most, popular of this season’s SVW. I will admit though, where we have seen others whose angles are comically off, or maybe too far away from the Louvre Pyramid—honestly kicking myself for missing the Louvre Williams joke when he was there??? Pathetic!—for the joke to seem believable, this is the first time I was like, “Whoa, Embiid is huge,” and “He’s pickin’ up that pyramid!” I even pretended to ignore the plinth he’s standing on in the 2nd pic because some dreams deserve to be nurtured.

Rating: Fool me once, you must be at the Louvre Pyramid. Fool me twice, I see you’re still at the Louvre Pyramid.

Jimmy Butler

I honestly don’t care if this is a #tbt! Name me one thing you needed to see more than Jimmy G. Buckets taking a gondola ride, shouting out, “Buon giorno mio amico!” to some lucky Venetians—you can’t! Jimmy is either 1) Still on summer vacation or, 2) Still in a summer vacation state of mind and we are all better for it.

Rating: If Thibs showed up in his vacation florals, dragging along a pouting Andrew Wiggins while Taj Gibson floated up on his life raft from last week, we’d have ourselves a Mamma Mia! threequel.

Patty Mills

Just a quick check in with our patron saint of summer vacations, Patty Mills, to see that he’s—right, yep, he’s free diving in a coral reef in the most subdued of his loud swim trunks, right on track for early August. Sorry to interrupt my merm man, get back to it and we’ll see you soon.


Rating: When you achieve SVW sainthood you are free of its rating system to spend these finite months as you please.

Justise Winslow

Justise is in the Exuma Cays, rompin’ around with the famous swimming pigs of the Bahamas! I appreciate how Winslow kept it respectful, keeping his distance and choosing not to simulate riding the pig like the bucket hatted mystery man in the last photo. It is a true bummer when, under the sun-exposed mantle of summer vacation, people do awful things like take selfies with beached sharks ’til they’re dead or generally scare the shit out of animals who are not on vacation, but trying to live their regular ass lives. Anyway, Justise in a bucket hat here wouldn’t have hurt.

Rating: Remember that for summer vacation to continue, the whole damn world needs to, too.

Kevin Love

Here is Kevin Love in SoHo showing off his new, custom soccer jersey made at the overpriced Nike store around the corner to express his undying love for bread, beside his friend, Worm. It’s gonna be a good season in Cleveland.

Rating: Bread love!

Patrick Patterson

You know, up in a hot air balloon all by himself is EXACTLY how I didn’t know I was already picturing 2Pats spending his summer.

Rating: Patrick Patterson has seen Nocturnal Animals five times!

Joakim Noah

It’s not all hot air balloon rides and posing with wild pigs in picturesque waters here, as we know. Summer vacation is prime time for many of our dudes to get the causes closest to their hearts in. Case in point Joakim Noah, in the thick of a peace march through Chicago put on by his own Noah’s Arc Foundation.


Rating: If you’ve got time to tan, you’ve got time to stan… for something.

Malcolm Brogdon

Last time we saw Brogdon, he was off the coast of Colombia somewhere and here we catch up with him hauling water in Tanzania. Brogdon partnered with PureMadi this season, an organization that helps deliver clean water to South Africa, but here he’s helping out Waterboys, an organization founded by NFL player Chris Long to bring water to communities in East Africa.

Rating: So Brogdon is essentially doing humanitarian work in Africa and also by peripherally bettering the NFL, an organization not worth anybody’s time. Selfless.

JaVale McGee

JaVale is in Pretoria, South Africa for the NBA Africa Game and make no mistake, he’s no slouch about getting his humanitarian work in while he’s there (literally building houses). BUT I need everyone to focus on this pic of him during a stopover on his way, posing with a large, soft bear in Lakers yellow with a strange and intoxicating likeness to him.

Rating: It’s uncanny.

Semi Ojeleye

A passage out of one of my favorite novels come to life, Semi Ojeleye and the Sea.

Rating: And I quote, “‘Fish,' he said, 'I love you and respect you very much. But I will kill you dead before this day ends.’”

Rodney Hood

Rodney celebrated his wedding anniversary by taking his beloved on a Jet Ski ride where he did look a little worried and sort of fully clothed but also, comfortable.


Rating: Casually chugging into a 3rd year of matrimony, as anyone ought to.

Jordan Clarkson

In stark contrast to Hood, here’s Jordan Clarkson aggressively letting you know he’s on a boat right now and you’re not.

Rating: Captain Jack Spareyogirl, is right.

Daniel Theis

Here’s Theis (2nd vid) joining the ranks of dudes so far this summer who do not know how to jump off something into still waters. Even for a German, I would not expect a jump off a jetty to be done so austerely.

Rating: Unless this is some kind of Deutsch, Weekend at Bernie’s remake?

Delon Wright

A double feature brought to you by my good buddy Delon, inventor of flight, Wright. In this very cinematic recording we get a leisurely pan from a sandstone, totally natural waterslide carved by a millennia of water, over to Delon and his good buddy, Kyle Kuzma, having a submerged chat whilst chilling amongst the fronds. I hope he is telling him about the DeRozan trade and how his friend Katie is still not, maybe won’t ever be, over it.

Rating: Save your saddest convos for the pool, bro, then no one knows when you’re crying.

Larry Nance, Jr.


Rating: #marrynancejr