Sports

NBA Summer Vacation Watch 2018

We are back and better than ever, documenting your favorite NBA star's offseason hijinks.

It was a long, long season and an even longer postseason. But it was all worth it to get to what’s important, the reason we follow the NBA at all, the one, triumphant thing that it culminates in: summer vacation.

If you’re new to Summer Vacation Watch then may I welcome you to the warmest shores of your sweet postseason life. A place where vacations and whereabouts of your favorite NBA players are closely followed, scrutinized and compiled for your basketball deprived minds in the most sizzling hot months. Are you mad you don’t get to wear shorts during the regular season? You’ve come to the right place. To returning readers I say WHEW that took long enough and I am glad we’re all here to get heatstroke via osmosis again.

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As the ancient saying goes: The solstice is here, the trophy is won, summer vacation watch has begun.

Joel Embiid

When a summer vacation starts with a self-described experience of fighting for your life, clawing at the lip of a waterslide all the way down, you know it’s gonna be a good one. According to the Atlantis resort’s website Embiid plunged down a “60-foot almost-vertical drop from the top of the world-famous and iconic Mayan Temple…at a tremendous speed through a clear tunnel submerged in a shark-filled lagoon” and you know what? He hated it. But by dressing and screaming for the vacation you want, you’ll be riding high all summer.

Rating: This is the reason the song "Danger Zone" was invented.

Jimmy Butler

Alert! Alert! Jimmy Butler is on vacation! If you’ll harken back to the sun kissed memories of last season’s NBA Summer Vacation Watch, Jimmy was one of the guys who never took a vacay, or if he did, he didn’t make it known to the hordes of strangers who wanted to insert themselves into his life. Maybe he felt like he had to buckle down having just arrived in Minnesota, maybe he was just getting to know his new city, but thank God that’s all over because so far this offseason Jimmy’s already gone on two vacations. The first to Canada (Butler to Raptors 2020), where he got stuck on a mountain, and the second to Venice, Italy, where he is taking calls to begin his modeling career.

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Rating: Your new favorite movie, The Angel Wears Pineapple Shirt.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

The Greek Freak, while not technically on vacation, took a trip down some of y’all’s memory lanes by trying American junk foods. What’s better than picturing his face and reactions to eating these exotic delights—absent from his POV pictures—is the settings and activities serving as the backdrop to his new experiences. The first: maybe a mall or, since it was during playoffs, a playoff game. The second: his own home. Finally: getting a pedicure. While I hope we get a good far-flung summer vacation from Giannis later this offseason, I’ll accept this everyday chillage in lieu.

Rating: The true spirit of “staycation” aka not lying to yourself by saying a trip to the laundromat with a book counts.

Kyle Kuzma

In a reversal of Embiid plummeting from them, scaling great heights is an excellent way to set a high bar for your summer vacation and climbing the Great Wall in the first week of June really puts it up there. While he took his agent and personal trainer to the top with him and did it in the clothes he wears to practice, I will let this instance of taking the office with you slide because I get the feeling Kyle Kuzma would find an excuse to slip “fitness” in on any vacation, and I’d rather he did it here than in a beach-adjacent infinity pool while the rest of us looked on, chugging guiltily from our piña coladas.

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Rating: UNESCO certified summer vacation.

Lonzo Ball

I just want to point out that, while Lonzo did drop a diss track on his teammate Kyle Kuzma shortly before he went on this Jet Ski Trip With The Boys, Kuzma had just, ostensibly, climbed down from the Great Wall of China which is sort of like the best real life equivalent to preemptively recording a comeback there is.

Rating: What I’m saying is, Lonzo Ball takes boring summer vacations.

Joakim Noah

No, Noah, it’s submerge warm, intake cold, that’s the order in the summer, that’s how it has to go.

Rating: TFW you’re accidentally named CEO of the new NBA DIY cryogenics division.

Meyers Leonard

You know who else takes boring summer vacations, even in places where we've already seen great summer vacations? Meyers Leonard. Here is the sentient varietal of man-sized lemon, sitting atop a giant Beetlejuice tube you get the feeling he doesn’t know how to get off of.

Rating: Might as well trade him away to the LNB Pro A, ‘cause there’s no way he’s coming down off that tube before his contract is up.

Matthew Dellavedova

Oh great, another guy who still can’t manage to get summer vacations right, even when he literally lives on an island made of sand in the middle of the sea and is vacationing on an even smaller, more sand covered island beside that bigger island. What does Matthew Dellavedova do in a palm-flanked infinity pool, onlooking majestic vistas and the ocean? He stretches his leg.

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Rating: Aquafit, but still somehow worse.

Bogdan Bogdanović

Good lord. Here’s Bogdan spending the start of his summer vacation on an overgrown court hucking a ball at a reclaimed barn backboard that would assuredly sell for hundreds of dollars at Restoration Hardware, should they ever decide to get into sporting goods. Alright, those misty Serbian mountains do look majestic and it’s cool to get a Country Strong kinda MTV Cribs glimpse into Bogdanović’s life, but we’ve got to get some beaches back in here.

Rating: Splinters from when this soggy backboard shatters and nary a sunburn in sight.

Patty Mills

Like the friend who makes sure you’re reapplying sunscreen, or bringing you another cold bev of your choice, Patty Mills is not only the NBA SVW MVP, he’s the sherpa of summertime and is always there to get and keep this sweetest of seasons on track. I’ll be honest, I thought this was a picture from last year, that was indeed featured last SVW, but no, Patty is back, topless, with another nice fish he wants to show you. This is as powerful an omen as the solstice itself.

Rating: One fish, two fish, red fish, single-handedly saving summer vacation, uh, fish.

Lou Williams

Speaking of fish! Here’s Lou Williams in an idyllic backyard river setting where, if you listen hard enough, you can almost hear the steady drone of cicadas in the trees over yonder. While we love exotic locales here at SVW, there’s something to be said for some simple RnR done the way you want. It’s not a bad thing to ease into summer, but that still doesn’t mean you can't stretch in the pool.

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Rating: A pair of dulling harmonicas that never get too frenzied, mostly complementing one another.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Look who’s in Capri, wearing capris! Not only that, but the assured bag of the summertime, the fanny pack, slung this way over the shoulder and down across a very casually buttoned—I want to say silk—shirt with a big KAT on it. Molto bella, bud.

Rating: Mamma mia!

P.J. Tucker

P.J. in Paris, Woody Allen get your grubby little mitts off the possibilities of this tour de France! Let us set the scene: here we have the defensive dream of every Western Conference team strolling the rue in a chapeau Alexandre Dumas would be tres pleased to see but could never himself pull off. Yes, oui, the palette of the outfit is like a simple macaron, bon chance at a better summer look than this. Or, in the words of Tyson Chandler in the comments, “Gone & Swag on em Tuck!”

Rating: Bonté divine!

Chandler Parsons

I’ll be the first to admit that it was a mistake to overlook Chandler Parsons in these hallowed, covered-in-tanning-oil halls—the dude knows how to do his downtime. After stops in Hawaii, Germany, and the UK, Parsons has moved onto making good-bad jokes in Iceland. Welcome Chandler, we’ve been waiting for you.

Rating: It’s like if Joshua Jackson grew ten inches and sort of became ruder? Am I crushing? A summer romance!

Jonas Valančiūnas

My man and his smaller man, celebrating father’s day like dads love to do: on a beach admiring at once their children, the proud and indomitable ocean, a nice looking boat going by out there and—hey how fast do you think those things go and are they very good on gas? This photo also offers a wonderful glimpse into the synergy of NBA summer vacation, that is, when there’s proof that these guys creep on each other’s vacations like the rest of us. Amir Johnson comes in with a dad joke of his own in the comments to add some sizzle to these father-son sunburns (sonburns?): “Y’all got on the same size shorts lol.”

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Rating: The determination to make a play on words like "sonburn" work.

Jerami Grant

Jerami met a baby with a kid (a baby goat) in Egypt and is having an extremely cute summer so far.

Rating: OG GOAT.