Ah yes, the bittersweet closing of July and the unfurling of August. It’s tough to watch the summer tick by, to look back and get whiplash a little bit by how fast it might seem to be going. But it’s also there, embedded in your base tan and probably much better mood given all that Vitamin E you’ve been getting.
It’s the same for basketball players.
They can feel this last, languous month stretching out in front of them, can see Jimmy Butler, LeBron James and The Brodie all taking time off and they want in. Moves have been made, bags have been thrown, and August in NBA summer vacation is a time for getting it all in. Crashing weddings, crashing raves, crashing awkwardly into the ocean and crashing out beside the pool—this week’s watch has got it all.
Sorry for starting this right off with a mystery but I just thought you should already get excited for next week’s Watch because LeBron James is in Toronto for Caribana and OVO Fest and it’s going to for sure be a little bit like Dads Gone Mild.
Rating: The dad jokes have already started, bright and early, popping their head into your room and asking you why you aren’t awake yet.
Where in the world is Jimmy Butler? You’d all be lying if you said finding out wasn’t one of the reasons you’re all here. As we learned last week, Jimmy did a very, 100% spontaneous I’m sure, spin of the globe to land a finger on London, England. He must have really enjoyed himself, because while he’s since moved on he’s made a point to take one custom with him.
After ordering some Belgian waffles in Brussels, he had himself a high tea. He then moved onto Amsterdam, taking a boat cruise down one of its many canals and hopping off just in time to have himself—you guessed it—high tea.
Is it annoying? A little. Will he be able to keep this up under the Miami system? If anyone could, plus manage to get everyone else to get on board, it’s Jimmy.
Rating: Goodbye, Miami Sound Machine. Hello, Miami Scone System.
The Brodie’s in [the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of] China! And conquering his fears abroad. Westbrook took a trip up to the observation deck of the Macau Tower and matched his shoes exactly to the birds-eye view he would have of what is below.
Rating: Here’s hoping Russ makes it a Special Administrative Region of China double header summer to remember, and pops over to Hong Kong real quick while he’s at it.
Simmons went back to his native Australia (which honestly may have been my most shocking summer vacation discovery thus far) and spent some time spinning around the outback in a helicopter before touching down at a wildlife sanctuary. Here, he touched dingos, criticized wallabees for sleeping, and lost his mind at a koala.
Rating: Be honest, did you know Ben Simmons was Australian?
Enes spent a fun hour or so slapping on a bunch of synthetic fabrics to create numerous new summer looks for himself and among the highlights were Hot King, Hot Hair Metal, Hot Hulk Hogan, Hot Trump and Hot Ridley Scott’s Gladiator Summer.
Rating: All in all what I also refer to as a successful trip to Zara.
I will happily take Zach LaVine squinting into the sun on a freshwater lake somewhere in Illinois, beard growing right out, as a new kind of additional mid-way summer solstice into the month of August.
Rating: LaVinequinox? Zolstice? We can workshop this we got a whole month.
First: Avert your eyes, Orlando, I don’t want you getting any ideas about where Siakam looks extremely comfortable. As for the rest of us, feast your eyes on Spicy Swamp Thing here, wearing a tank top that matches the cerulean Floridan sky, taking a boat with some cool red dice hanging off the rearview into the Everglades, flanked by his friends on jetskis just behind.
This THIRD summer vacation for Siakam started a little bit boringly with golf, but very quickly evolved, much like our own human existence the day we stood upright and walked out of similarly murkish water.
Rating: “Smoke on the Water” but a steel drum rendition.
DeAndre went to the dentist and got a little looped out on laughing gas then shared with us his sweetest dream to get cast in a Game of Thrones rewrite.
He then took himself to the pool, which fits into my sweetest dream of casting myself, like my whole body flung not very graciously off a diving board, into a pool with DeAndre Jordan.
Rating: Are these vacations? Was his consciousness otherwise altered and was he immersed in chlorinated water? You can keep asking these kinds of questions or else agree that I know best and trust fall into the lap swim lanes.
Jordan Bell went to Universal Studios Los Angeles and straight to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter within it.
Was the sorting hat talking crazy because it was a talking hat in general, or did Bell not agree with the house that he got put into?
Rating: I’m hearing Hufflepuff and I’m hearing Ravenclaw when all I really want to be hearing is Jordan Bell try out some spells.
Meeks continues to enjoy the summer vacation of an NBA champ in and around Dubai. First, riding camels in the desert, then hopping atop something he could crank a little more, and finally slipping into a pretty deec infinity pool to ponder the Persian Gulf from.
Rating: Would we miss Meeks if he never came back? Of course. But could we blame him?
Im pulling up after this rap battle. What time y’all done. Send me the address. IM crashing y’all shit https://t.co/hdiTggGRVe— Mike Scott (@mikescott) July 28, 2019
While there have been plenty of player weddings and players attending weddings in the sun tan lotion stained annals of Summer Vacation Watch, this might be a SVW first. Mike Scott crashed a wedding in Philadelphia and sincerely looked to have the best time. After a bit of a shy entrance Scott beelined to the newlyweds and quickly settled in—dancing with moms, taking photos with guests, playing the bongos to what looks like a way thinned out room so I think he closed this reception out?
Rating: How many guests woke up freshly indoctrinated into Mike Scott Hive we’ll never know.
“Hi, Heaven? Is Dejounte Murray an angel? More importantly who is driving this speedboat?” Are the things I said out loud looking at these photos. First there’s Murray in a pool, chilling on a floatation lounger, inviting us to call him. The caption mentions that he’s “Hella Single Enjoying My Life” and all evidence supports this, but if you were still worried, here are Murray and his friends having fun on a boat. Listen, this column is only concerned with telling you how to live your life for roughly 2 months of the year, but telling your friends you love them is not seasonal. Do it all the time.
Rating: A good friend would have maybe told dress shirt and pants dude, and Nikki Sixx shorts guy, that they were hitting the waves that day but who knows, maybe Murray is extremely committed to surprises.
Yessssss. One thing you may know about Jonas Valanciunas is that he’s a precious weirdo, one thing you may not know, not yet, is that come summer he turns his proudly flapping freak flag into a gigantic beach towel and lets it all hang out. JV dropped into a motobolo game to show his support for his favourite riders and dirt bikes alike and, I hope, to be struck by the muse of motorbikes to start an expansion league where the same game is played but with basketballs.
Rating: Your heart, revving powerfully and sounding like 1,000 angry bees.
Let it be known I was, initially, deeply concerned. JaVale, who essentially embodies the spirit of SVW all year long, landed in Mykonos and hopped straight onto a stationary bike to work out. This was troublesome. I became even more worried when his first excursion was to a rave with Diplo. His second excursion was no better because it was back to another rave with Diplo. What was this?!
I was very close to calling the American Consulate in Greece but then JaVale showed up in Jinja, Uganda, saying “What it do baybeeeeeeee” to a statue of Gandhi and taking a boat to where the Nile river starts. Relief isn’t even the right word. The universe righted itself.
Rating: Corinthians 13:4-8 - Love is patient, love is kind. It does not rave with Diplo.
Dame keeps doing live videos of himself hanging out in a pool and FaceTiming his friends while he’s in there. Some admittedly seem frustrated that he won’t get out and honour his plans with them.
Rating: An out-of-office to aspire to.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
THJ was also In Mykonos, but not with Diplo. He was with Miami Dolphins player Andre Branch wearing some excellent summer vacation shirts, and then poolside in St. Tropez ostensibly having just kicked off those highlighter yellow slides to recline himself, unencumbered.
Rating: If Diplo gets wind of this so help us.
Kuz was bicoastal this week. First in NYC to go on a shopping spree (also train, whatever) then back to the California coast where, if I didn’t know better, I would say he’s trying to inaugurate himself into the D’Angelo Russell/Devin Booker wine and painting butts club.
Rating: Don’t do it, Kyle.
Scary Terry made good on his nickname and did an extremely awkward backflip off a boat.
Rating: Had no idea Scary Terry was the shorthand for ‘An Orthopedist’s Worst Nightmare’ but I can see how the former might catch on a little better.
Don’t mind us, Cory, keep on chilling on and around that camel with a look as timeless as the dunes.
Rating: (Please call Jodie Meeks, who is a mere sand dune away, and ask if you can kiss the Larry OB in secret, like the sands of time you were part of the Championship journey!)
TRoss expectantly awaiting a scuba helmet to be gently placed upon his head, like the new Poseidon receiving his crown, for what ails you.
Rating: 4 ½ Summer Leagues Under the Falsified Sea Enclosure
Yogi hung out on a boat around the Thimble Islands in the Long Island sound wearing pineapple shorts and throwing some casual horns, scaring so much the guys beside him with his overall hella summer vacation vibe that they had to hold onto each other as to not go overboard.
Rating: First jumping off a backyard fountain in Vegas and now cruising around a giant New Jersey estuary, showing us that discount summers are just fine, too.
Uhhhh in the exact opposite of a discount summer here comes Kevin Love flying his own plane.
Rating: While you should never be afraid to throw the horns, know that it can backfire, inexorably.
Buddy clapping in water encouraging you all to get to the nearest place you can submerge yourself in it on the double.
Rating: Petition to nominate this photo for sainthood.
At a resort on a lake divided in half between the Lombardy and the Veneto region of Italy, Marco Belinelli, once again, makes the most incredible pool i’ve ever seen look boring by falling asleep right beside it.
Rating: Maybe Marco Polo the pool game was invented to keep the narcoleptic summer inclinations of Marco Belinelli under control.
They said it was impossible but Jarred Vanderbilt somehow became a beach vacation.
Rating: Look at that person in the first frame, swimming away because they can’t handle how the beach has been bettered. Coward.
In case you weren’t wondering what Jon Leuer was up to, he caught a fish who looked just as surprised to see him as you.
Rating: Jon Leuer more like Jon fishing lure (stole this right from an IG comment and I stand by it).
Trae Young and his family went to the Bahamas.
Rating: His family are his abdominal muscles. It’s a big family.
I honestly just want to say thank you to whoever gave recently retired Channing Frye edibles.
Rating: But also, hell yeah.
Bonus: Where In The World Is Paul Pierce
So help us god Paul Pierce is abroad. His first stop was in Shanghai, where he was transfixed day and night by the bulbous Oriental Pearl Tower.
He has since moved on and continues to sweat through his golf shirts and eat dehydrated peppers by the fistful, while grounding himself with reminders of home.