Sports

NBA Summer Vacation Watch: Signing a Contract Extension With Summer

More water pigs! More safaris! More...hobbits? Sure, why not, it's summer!
Screen captures via Instagram/@javalemvgee, @alexabrines, @gtemp17

Can you smell it? The first whiffs of leaves falling and someone spilling their PSL all over you on the train? Fall will be here before you know it and that’s why, in these trying times, we (me) here at Summer Vacation Watch practice the slightly altered tao of Too $hort, Get It In Where You Can Fit It In. Meaning, embrace the late-August bevy of vacation bounty as players gaze at their warmup gear and think, “No, not yet."

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Paul George

If you cast your memory back to last summer, it was this very thorough, good times summer watchdog that first surmised the possibility that Paul George would be on the move from Indiana to literally anywhere else when we caught him fishing solo on some rando Indiana lake. It was depressing. Fast-forward to one summer later and we find Young Trece back out on the water, but this time in honor of his now annual fishing tournament at L.A.’s Castaic Lake, not alone but with many friends including The Brodie. A lot can be revealed in a seemingly simple summer vacation, and to my very discerning, just-got-new-sunglasses-cause-my-last-pair-sunk-in-a-lake-last-weekend eye, George made the right choice by extending his OKC contract.

Rating: OK, but does anyone really win the tournament if we don’t get a photo of Russell Westbrook reeling one in?

Carmelo Anthony

Melo has had a big summer. He’s already signed with two teams when most guys are content to end up at one, and now he’s on safari. In many ways, this video is a lot like Anthony’s career. Sitting atop a dusty vehicle with questionable shocks, mostly cruising in a good outfit but occasionally pointing at springboks (Kristaps Porzingis) and other creatures and contracts he’d like to investigate along the way.

Rating: An explorer’s work is never done.

Ben Simmons

Ben Simmons appears to be in the Valhalla of all professional tennis players, casually considering a sunset that would make any other man weep, top off and in Gucci slides. I don’t know or care enough about tennis to tell you anything about his form, other than to say they make statues based off this sort of thing.

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Rating: Advantage, heaven.

Hassan Whiteside

The Miami center was atop a sand dune outside of Dubai, gazing out past the mirages of Miami’s playoff hopes this year and instead, wisely discerning that come what may he will enjoy himself and have fun.

Rating: The rating is whatever your mirage would be—mine is dunking off a sand dune being added to the All-Star Dunk Contest.

JaVale McGee

Look, I don’t want to worry anyone but we’ve got a strong contender out to steal the SVW MVP title away from Patty Mills. JaVale McGee has, so far, been featured more and is clocking more miles and mileage out of the fleeting gift known as NBA summer vacation. This week he’s in the Bahamas, swimming with pigs and sharks and dolphins, doing selfie mode with iguanas, and continuing to be the best dad in the league. And while the summer’s not over by any means, it’s going to take some big moves by Mills or frankly anyone—LeBron singing alone in a Mexican beach bar again, maybe?—to give this guy a run.

Rating: Petition to rename August to McGeeuary.

Zaza Pachulia

Zaza, AKA the Ankle Thief, AKA Crouching Zaza Hidden Season Ending Injury was back home in Georgia, sipping some summer reds under the majestic vistas of the Caucasus Mountains. His Majesty of Tripping Your Favorite Player was looking casual in low Vans and some kind of cargo capri, his face free of all “Who me?” expressions as he truly took some time off from planning how to ruin your franchise’s postseason ambitions.

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Rating: Would be interested to know if he’s sipping a Mer-how-low-can-you-go or a smooth Pi-no-you-cannot-just-sneak-up-behind-someone-like-that, Zaza, Noir.

Jamal Murray

Jamal Murray was at the Palace of Versailles, ready to blow the whistle on anyone getting too close to the topiaries.

Rating: A visit to Louis XIV’s AKA The Sun King’s home, Jamal Murray to Phoenix confirmed???

Serge Ibaka

Would it be summer vacation without Serge Ibaka dancing on a boat? He switched out Rihanna for Drake this year and might be the last person on earth doing the In My Feelings Challenge but the first person on earth to do it on the Congo River.

Rating: What Serge lacks in the regular season he makes up for during the summer, so I take back everything I said about the Raptors needing to trade him immediately and at all costs. My bad.

Dennis Schröder

Schröde the dude got engaged! In a tiny helicopter! And he’s into ska now! Congrats my man!

Rating: OKC Punk

Reggie Bullock

Reggie was on a nice looking cruiser with flat tires that’s way too small for him, havin’ a nice time and making a joke about it.

Rating: I love it when we’re cruising together.

Álex Abrines

Abrines was on a two-part honeymoon, first to some locations as seen in Lord of the Rings and later, to a beach in Fiji with nary a Witch-king in sight.

Rating: Nerds love summer, too.

Dragan Bender

Bender was in the chill waters off the Croatian coast looking bored as hell.

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Rating: Big demerits for robbing us of a glimpse of some crystalline waters by using this sad ass Parisian filter, my guy!

Ty Lawson

Ty was hanging around in Honduras in what can only be described as “my dream home.”

Rating: Medium demerits for doing this in a scuba and/or mime suit.

Glen Robinson III

Glen sat on a tiny car.

Rating: Get this guy a bigger car.

Josh Hart

Hart was on location at that nest of snakes that chased that iguana during one of the most stressful sequences ever seen on BBC’s Planet Earth. Though he lamented not seeing any lizards or snakes this day, he was happy to hold a little piece of history (a rock) in his hands. He loves nature.

Rating: Lakers Planet Earth episode confirmed.

Garrett Temple

Another safari! Temple, seriously one of the kindest looking men on earth, was in South Africa checking out some lions and doing some poses.

Rating: Open car safari, Temple incredibly brave confirmed.

Jon Leuer

Unfortunately Leuer was never seen again.

Rating: S.U.P.I.P. (stand-up paddle board in peace)