It’s a weird time, for sure. What next steps might look like out of the worst parts of the pandemic, no matter where you’re living, aren’t exactly clear and as the natural world chugs toward summer, for many of us it’s a seasonal marker we’re feeling the significance of but can’t enter fully into the headspace, or habits of. Not yet.
The NBA is feeling this too. As the league picks up momentum toward what is still a huge question mark in many, many markets, namely whether or not teams will begin to practice and if it means the season, somehow, will start up again, the energy of that not necessarily forward motion is manifesting… strangely, in some players. While others are carrying on living their lives in ISO and celebrating its many milestones (Births! Birthdays! Engagements! Star Wars!) as they go. It has all added up to different kinds of surprises this week, some much better than others.
Let’s start as strong as we possibly can. Sometimes I stick the best of the week down in the middle, to give you a reason to keep going (too real?), but it would be a disservice to delay this one. P.J. Tucker, famed for never once being the man the clothes are wearing and always being the man wearing the clothes; famed for a defensive prowess that not only feels personal, but that the object of his defense is also lucky; famed for driving around topless in a convertible wearing a beautiful, supple felt bolero hat on more than one occasion, had a birthday this week. To celebrate, he traveled to Aspen, Colorado, put on a really “dress for the birthday theme you’ve created yourself” jacket, and had a glass of bubbles and either sparkling rosé or regular (but not, like, “regular”) rosé poured simultaneously for himself. I do wish the dude on the photo’s right held off on flipping the bird in this moment because the beauty of Tucker is how demure he is, even in the middle of excess.
And then, AND THEN, because even wearing an all white outfit including a pearlescent, white sombrero, is somehow not excessive if it’s P.J. Tucker doing it, he thanks everyone for the birthday wishes as only he could. Graciously. This look is the equivalent of a whisper telling you exactly what you want to hear.
Rating: The best part is knowing Tucker did not ski, nor feel the need to take on any other geographically-themed activity, and simply enjoyed himself.
Start strong, stay strong. So here again is the master of Self-ISO, Paul Millsasp, with a quiet and caring interlude for us all.
Rating: Picturing Millsap wrapping two giant hands tenderly around the warmth of this mug, blowing gently on the top, doing an inhale, smiling to himself, absolutely counts as a kind of meditation.
Nurk alert! For those of us who aren’t horse girls or Jusuf Nurkic, it’s helpful to know that Clydesdales, the kind of horse Nurkic looks like he’s doing a pony ride on with his feet dangling nearly to the ground in I want to say socks and sandals, are around 6-feet at the shoulder. Is this photo like a metaphor that no matter the burdens we’ve placed upon the natural world, it’s been there to support us and we shouldn’t take it for granted? It should be.
Rating: In the immortal words of Jusuf Nurkic, “There is much we can learn from a friend who happens to be a horse.”
Jaren Jackson Jr.
Self-ISO, and indeed this current moment in human history, is all about small victories and rituals that keep us going. For example, Jaren Jackson Jr. dressing up and making an impromptu fashion shoot about going to the gas station. You know that feeling when you’re on a really long road trip or drive and you pull into a gas station, maybe in another country or state than you started in, and everything feels like a novelty? You buy a bunch of snacks you’ve never seen and maybe a funny hat? That’s sort of what it’s like now going to places you used to take for granted.
Rating: So you see, life is a highway.
Jimmy took his braids out this week. This is one of maybe two instances, the first was when he ate a regular grilled cheese sandwich, that we’ve seen him relax in ISO, now literally letting his hair down. Will we see a less impossibly regimented Jimmy Butler return to basketball when this is all over? Absolutely not, but it’s fun to imagine.
Rating: Do you think Pat Riley broke his phone throwing it out the window when he saw this? I do.
It’s nice to see Gobert making some friends again.
Rating: Even if this duck was inclined by a deep, intuitive urge to migrate and that path happened to take it through Rudy’s backyard, still.
Three huge milestones for one of the greatest of all time, Amir Johnson, this week! First, a birthday! Happy Birthday Amir! Second, he’s a third time father! Congratulations Amir and family! Third, he’s made an appearance in NBA Self-Isolation Watch and is now back on the radar of thousands, if not tens of thousands, as it should always be!
Rating: A new Holy Trinity to get behind.
Hopefully people have become more acquainted with Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac’s outstanding cheekbones during the season suspension, as well as all the charity work he’s been leading independently for support and frontline workers. But a guy with that bone structure, with that level of community involvement, deserves some sparkle in his life. Good news! Isaac got engaged this week. On an outdoor balcony under the stars and a heart shaped arch made of red balloons, no less.
Rating: Congratulations, Jonathan!
Kuz has been putting brush to canvas at a blurring rate this week. First, he went all in and then half in on an anime character — Naruto? Sorry but I’m literally 100 years old — carefully sketching an outline to paint.
When he got to the painting he did it in big sections,
But since has kind of stopped? The painting has featured in other videos of Kuzma’s as if it is finished, so maybe it is. Only an artist can truly tell when their work is done.
Kuzma then took a more abstract approach in a piece he captioned and I hope is calling, “SPLAT”.
Rating: Picasso, Maybe?
Trezz is a dad of his word. He picked up a very large above ground pool this week and vowed to have it set up for his kids before they woke up from their naps. Because I feel like it’s weird to post stills of kids if you don’t absolutely need to, just trust me when I say he did and his daughter was climbing a VERY tall ladder with water wings on to get in a little later.
Rating: Basically the dream of childhood.
Ingram took a stroll down to the old concrete pier to watch some classic early riser old dude fisherman pull their catches from the water and, uh, gut them on the concrete.
Rating: He watched for a long time.
Otto Porter Jr.
Porter Jr. was once again visited by deer in his backyard and once again it isn’t clear if he welcomes or is afraid of them. In general, the wide teeth emoji can be misleading. Is it a grimace? A gleeful smile? Will report back upon next visit when hopefully a ‘moj capable of tipping the scales in either direction is thrown into the mix.
Rating: Truly unknown!
Harkless is here with the dilemma facing many men without barbers to visit, debating the point in which facial hair becomes too long and more of a facial covering. Also appreciate the universal measurement for hair used correctly here, the length of the top section of a finger.
Rating: Two finger-lengths and Moe’s going to be in old prospector territory, three-finger lengths and he’s veering into werewolf.
Ross, seemingly sick of putting together any more jigsaw puzzles, got on a boat to take on one of man’s largest, most captivating puzzles of all: the sea.
Rating: Would you believe me if I told you all those dashes that appeared after this story did not indicate a single fish caught, or any more time spent on this boat? Well you simply must.
The sweetest prince of all, Jarrett Allen, took safely to Target this week. Allen wore a mask and did the self-checkout. While this news may have been initially presented on NetDaily, it was originally sent to me by tipster, James Herbert of CBS who said, “it MIGHT be the same target i went to yesterday.”
Rating: James also talked me down off a ledge of how lonely I worried Allen was after seeing him here doing the self-checkout, which is all to say that even in isolation, it takes a village — from a safe distance.
Kanter remains a player I would be absolutely more concerned about for doing things like this DAILY, if these weren’t the kinds of things I think he always wished he had more time to get around to trying. Like how some people wish they could pick up a second language, or read more books, or get into distance running, Kanter has all along been pining for the time to dump a bunch of jelly beans and gummy worms into a waffle maker and see if what comes out is edible.
Rating: Sometimes, more time isn’t always the answer.
May the force be with you, as well, Boris!
Rating: Full disclosure a few guys did Star Wars stuff on May 4th but the big thing to focus on here is Boris Diaw owning a lightsaber.
Speaking of older guys getting into novelty items, Channing Frye got himself a kind of hog the likes of which flattops everywhere have never seen but would be more than pleased to accept given the even weight distribution a vehicle like this would offer. You don’t burn rubber on something like this so much as travel at a comfortable pace down side streets to the local park or outdoor gazebo, in Crocs.
Rating: [Verse] Get your lawnmower motor runnin’/head out on the dirt packed alley/Lookin’ for optimal back support/And whatever comes our way within reason and safe speed
[Chorus] Like a true, Channing Frye/We were born, born to be mild/We can climb one stair at a time/I never wanna pay for parking
Here we are again at Patrick Patterson’s Ennui Corner, once featuring a pair of slow moving snails over patio tiles and now with a statement (no question mark) better fit for a teen who had to delete their Tik Tok account in front of their parents.
Rating: Gonna need more or either much less from you, Patrick!
I almost killed @JaValeMcGee just now .. what are the odds we almost hit each-other driving … I’m ready to cus someone out in full road rage mode .. he roll down his window Its javale man wtf . we just started laughing 😂😂😂Damn I wish he would’ve hit me I need some cash 😂😂
— Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) May 1, 2020
This tweet is a rollercoaster except the starting point is you’re already plummeting along with your guts. You get a little breather but it’s in the form of you choking out a desperate, “WHAT?”, fearing the worst. You judder into an abrupt stop. You let yourself try on a smile. The smile immediately flips to a frown. The Swaggy P Experience.
Rating: Disney, patent this ride!
PAUL PIERCE’S PLACE
Uhhh, absolutely no truths to report from The Truth this week, which is worrying considering he’s splitting his time between breaking and entering onto closed beaches, bobbing around in one pool or another, or attempting aimless, no handed bike rides he does not look fully confident on. Please check in soon, Paul!