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NBA Summer Vacation Watch: All-Inclusive Rookies

It's a young man's league (and summer vacation), so that means you get to watch Joel Embiid be terrified of big cats.
Images via Instagram/@joelembiid, @yogifer11, @dloading

There is a time right around now in the grand scheme of summer vacation where the big ones have been taken and the biggest have yet to go away or, even better, go away again. It then falls on the fresh shoulders of those not yet beleaguered by their first season in the league to realize, oh shit, we had better make the most of this, our last summer without unrealistic expectations and the fear that if we don’t deliver we could get traded to the Magic. This goes for guys a couple years into the league, too. There is still some Grade-A, R and R to be found this week but primarily, and without further ado—rookies (and the rookie-ish) come through!


Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis is in Anguilla! Doing AquaFit! This is as rare a summer vacation as they come and while you should all know by now that exercising on vacation is most always grounds for vacation disqualification, The Brow could take out his trash in August in shorts and I’d be so thirsty I’d accept. What I mean is, this photo is so quenching to the Davis Summer Vacation Drought of 2018 that I feel like I’ve just drank that entire pool, jacked, soaked t-shirt clad instructor and all.

Rating: Mr. Darcy in the rain in Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice or Mr. Carter on "The Drought Is Over" Parts 1 through 4.

Joel Embiid

Join me on this safari through The Process’s psyche as he is first nervous, then intrigued, bemused, enraptured, in pain and, finally, terrified. Summer really is a journey, friends.

Rating: I sincerely hope all Eastern Conference teams have a coach well nuanced in what it takes to cope with Embiid fresh off an all summer long vacation.

Chris Paul

CP3 is at Disney World with his family and if you zoom into his eyes close enough you can see a faraway and forlorn glint in the shape of a banana boat zoomin’ away, short one banana boat boy.

Rating: The saddest man in the Magic Kingdom.

D’Angelo Russell

If you heard a scream echoing through the air a little while ago don’t worry, it was just D’Angelo Russell landing this gargantuan belly flop on the Greek island of Mykonos.


Rating: A D’Angelo Russell summer camp for belly flops would be a productive and fun way to help every player get the flops out of their systems pre-season. Please be in touch if you’d like to sponsor.

Greg Monroe

Moose! The newest Raptor and inhabitant of my heart has taken a trip south of the border, well, two borders—his new border and the old one—to Mexico. Very happy to see him with a different container of water on the go in his photos on this trip, staying hydrated is the only real responsibility one has on summer vacation other than having a hell of a time.

Rating: With great responsibility comes a great shirt.

Nicolas Batum

Batum, the low-key candidate for kindest eyes in the NBA, was in Roma seeing the usual sights and not trying to make a big deal out of it or anything.

Rating: Do I wish we got a plate of spaghetti picture out of this and Batum eating it? Yes. But you have to be happy for your friends in the summer, no matter what they are clogging the feed with.

Buddy Hield

Buddy, who is in my mind an eternal rookie for the purest of hearts, was grippin’ and rippin’ this week on an ATV tour in Cabo. There is a sense that he is going extremely fast at first glance but don’t worry, judging by his fashion bandana barely getting displaced it’s safe to say he is going the appropriate speed of: CAREFUL.

Rating: I smell a prop for the 2019 Dunk Contest.

Yogi Ferrell

Yogi looks extremely happy and I am extremely shouting GET DOWN from there right this INSTANT!


Rating: Where are his spiky shoes where is his harness where is his CLIF bar endorsement deal?

Frank Kaminsky

I didn’t think it was possible for someone to make all three Plumlee brothers look bearable, but then Frank Kaminsky went to Lollapalooza and wore a questionable wig around his entire face and later face paint for no reason so, it was that easy?

Rating: If you make a Plumlee look good you’re having a bad summer.

R.J. Hunter

R.J. visited the Prado Museum in Madrid and was embarrassed by The Defence of Zaragoza, which, while I’m no professional, looks like some pretty good defence. He could take note.

Rating: Álvarez Cubero invented zone defence, learn your ancient history.

Furkan Korkmaz

Furkan was hoopin’ in swim trunks in Turkey with some friends and tourism Turkey should license this photo for immediate use.

Rating: I’m writing this from the plane on my way there.

Jordan Bell

Bell was brave not only to keep an eye on about a dozen kids, but to enter water with such an assuredly high pee-to-pool ratio.

Rating: There are worse summer jobs, it’s true.

Wade Baldwin IV

Wade is in Maui doing self-timer portraits in the pool, that’s how much no one wants to go on vacation with Meyers Leonard.

Rating: Short one reliable teammate with a decent sense of lining up the shot. Failing that, at least a level or a book to lean the phone on.

Arnoldas Kulboka

Arnoldas Kulboka was in the Dubai desert.


Rating: That’s literally all I know about him.

Edmond Sumner

Let’s get the paperwork in to change Sumner to Summer because Edmond is having one.

Rating: Endless Sumner!