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NBA Summer Vacation Watch: Summer Will Prevail

There's a lot of shit going on, but there is also NBA Summer Vacation, which is decidedly not shit.
Photos via Instagram

Live From Hell, It's This Past Week [saxophones playing]. I'm talking "swap the giant boulder out for an endless Excel sheet, you've been tasked as the new precariously contracted 9-to-5 Sisyphus" Hell, where you can hardly even remember what a summer should feel like.

I know this is a place primarily for sun-seeking and shorts of all sizes, but I would like to take a minute to acknowledge that one of the reasons the NBA is great and why we all love it is because basketball isn't separate from the larger world. It's a microcosm, maybe more than any other pro sport, and its underlying decency is telling in the way stewards of the sport consistently speak out. Basketball, by virtue of its players and fans, is a community, and one that has always been rooted in possibility.


And what greater possibility is there than finding out who conquered a boogie board this week, or drank out of a coconut? Summer Vacation Watch is meant to be a soothing balm against all the harried elements that are out to harm us—the riptide of lunatics in power, a really high UV rating—by showing the people we like taking a lil' reprieve, preferably adjacent to water. So without further ado, our dudes.

Serge Ibaka

The only thing conceivably wrong with this video is that it's too short.

Rating: Raptors (for everything) in 4.

J.R. Smith

J.R. is in Mexico with his wife drinking champagne and getting serenaded on the beach after midnight by the ghost of Frank Sinatra!

Rating: J.R. thriving is good for the economy and business is booming.

Kyrie Irving

Flat Earther Irving celebrated National Underwear Day by wearing shorts and a visible pair of undergarms while beholding a personal pan pool that overlooks an ocean without any curvature in the horizon whatsoever. He must be happy.

Rating: Double pools in one picture (the ocean a.k.a. the biggest saltwater infinity pool of all) bring this up to a rare rating of .

Paul Pierce

Let me give you one incredible tip: in times of trouble, look to The Truth. Every time I think Paul is done with his summer I take a deep dive off an autofilled Google search and discover no, he's definitely not done, in fact now he's in Hong Kong.

Rating: The only way this could conceivably get any more perfect is if he took his best friend Kevin Garnett along.


Kevin Garnett

Well, would you look at that. Garnett made it to HK with his best buddy and took one of his signature selfie vids, marked by everything being wobbly and pointed down. If you want to indulge in some summer self-care, I recommend going back through KG's retirement relaxation techniques of documenting sweeping, vertical vistas and almost upside-down oceans.

Rating: 100 percent officially retired.

Malcolm Brogdon

Brogdon caught a lil' shark in Tampa while channeling the attitude of Russell Westbrook and the paraphernalia of a janitor. I don't understand why there is an industrial mop bucket slightly out of frame, but I love the suggestion that this is summer and anything could happen.

Rating: The intro to "Wipeout" by the Surfaris being played from a phone in somebody's pocket.

Thaddeus Young

Thad proves to the world once again that he's the last person you'd ever want to go up against in Monopoly.

Rating: If you were sponsored by the feeling of a rainy day during your vacation that's well-spent indoors with good friends.

Okaro White

It was Okaro White's birthday and shorts of all sizes showed up to celebrate. Tyler Johnson may or may not be wearing the same silken headband he wore to Dion Waiters' "Made in Philly" event a few days before, in which case I respect his dedication to making it clear he's got a look this summer. Someone whose summer look is not catching on is human version of a shirt that comes free in a case of Coors Light Kelly Olynyk. Olynyk has made a kind of history, though, for here is the first pair of shorts in my life that I cannot knowingly endorse. I honestly think this is why Briante Weber signed with the Lakers. Just look at his face.


Rating: If I've stressed nothing else about SVW ratings, it's that Kelly Olynyk is bad for your bottom line and you won't always have Briante Weber in shorts and socks to save you—this is a loud and clear BE CAREFUL, like forgetting to reapply sunscreen after your second or third dip.

Kyle O'Quinn

Coming in hot from a majestic view in the Virgin Islands to emergency eyewash out whatever Olynyk did to us back there is Kyle O'Quinn. Kyle wears the aspirational version of Olynyk's disaster shorts, and I only wish I could see his smiling face.

Rating: If Summer Vacation Watch ever becomes a traveling seminar, this will be the opening image projected across hundreds of sun-hungry eyes.

Amir Johnson

Thank you Amir! Always the fan fav and your heart's most tender keeper, Amir Johnson delivers not just the smiling (also: rejuvenated!) face of Kyle O'Quinn but also Kyle Lowry. A double dose of quality Kyles to cure and calm what could ever ail and assail you during this wild week.

Rating: Heaven has just now confirmed it's a place on earth.

Rudy Gobert

Mountains and scaling them continue to be on trend this summer with Rudy summiting the latest peak. This one especially must be the Jazz's version of Olympus, because on his way down he ran into Mark Eaton and his giant bicycle.

Rating: Take your love, take it down, climb a mountain, turn around—because there's Mark Eaton.

Jeremy Lin

If they ever want to rebrand the seven wonders they should get Jeremy Lin to suspend himself on or around them. "Jeremy's Radical Relics" or "Lin's Loopy Antiquities" both have some traction to them.


Rating: A cure for summer bummers has been discovered: Linsanity.

Harrison Barnes

Look, basically every NBA player got married this summer (an upcoming SVW theme?) but none had more fun before, during, or after than Harrison Barnes. This is Summer Vacation Watch gold, guys. Since the season ended, the definitively most chill of the league's Barneses was in Spain, Mexico, and is now honeymooning in Italy, living it up in some glowing cerulean caves.

Rating: Perfezionare!

Tim Duncan

The Stone Buddha has been zenning out in the jungle by pummeling a small ginger forest creature we are made to believe is his kickboxing coach. I wish there were a study that looked at what would happen if all the looped clips on CNN were replaced by this one of Old Man Riverwalk languidly landing blows, and how much it might calm everybody right down. Honestly, 12 hours of Tim Duncan spending 20 minutes looking for parking would work, too.

Rating: The feeling you get when June hits and the whole entire summer is stretched out in front of you.