NBA Self-Isolation Watch Week 9: Nature Is Healing, Ball Is Life

Yes indeed we all do know the joke by now — nature has returned, the earth is healing. But what about NBA players returning to nature? “Nature is healing, ball is life” doesn’t have the same immediate uptake for jokes but it was, more or less, what was going on this week in Self-ISO. Guys went into the woods, came out of them, fished, howled atop waterfalls, called animal control, lounged around with exotic wildlife and became the unexpected caretakers of infant animals while trying to maintain a decent lawn. Let’s tiptoe through these tulips!

Paul George

If you want to find someone angling to have a good time this pandemic, look no further than Paul George. And please, do not shut the tab in your browser this website is on or gently set your phone down and go do something better with your time because of that terrible fishing joke. George, an avid fisherman, opted to spend time catching smallmouth bass after smallmouth bass. He thoughtfully posed with each one (or else one hungry fish) before gently setting them back in the water.

Rating: An afternoon well spent.

Lou Williams

We join Williams perched atop the waterfall in his backyard. His “scary ass” was up there because he was rightfully avoiding a gigantic snake in the grass. As he narrated, “Only thing about living in the deep south, big ass snakes, man,” his poor friend was given the job of trying to catch the snake with a pool skimmer.

The snake, over it, opted to leave the yard and Williams’ fears multiplied when his friend informed him the first snake had gone to join another snake on the other side of the fence. “One turned into two!” Williams exclaimed.

Animal control arrived and caught the two snakes, identified as water moccasins (“That’s why they’re always in the damn pool,” Williams agreed), and placed them carefully in a big bucket. Williams heaved a huge sigh of relief.

Rating: Lou Williams perched on an artificial waterfall warning you about snakes in the grass wouldn’t be such a bad conscience.

Tobias Harris

Remember a couple Self-ISOs ago when Harris got psyched out by a group of turkeys that stormed his yard? Well this week, just as Harris was about to cut his lawn, his keen, defensively valuable eyes spotted something resting in the tall grass.

“There’s a baby deer in my grass that needs to be cut!” Harris proclaimed in a careful whisper, not wanting to startle the fawn. He inquired after its mother in a worried tone, then marveled at the nature he was getting to see up close, “First turkeys, now baby deer!”

Rating: Nature first, lawn care second.

D’Angelo Russell

Russell had a baby chimpanzee in, I think, his home, because he introduced it to his French bulldog.

Rating: It is wonderful to learn about wildlife but I have to side with Russell’s bug-eyed dog here when I say my aversion would be similar.

Robert Covington

Covington and his giant pet snake took it easy this week. Covington lounged on the couch while the snake draped several sections of its body over his arms and legs, lifting its head once as if to say, ‘sup?

Rating: Or I guess it would be more like ‘sssssssup?

Kyle O’Quinn (and Kyle Lowry)

The two greatest Kyles in the league took to the trails this week on their bikes, bumping and jolting themselves all over the great outdoors. I hope these two have excellent shocks, they deserve them.

Bonus, O’Quinn also gave his beaming face a steam bath this week. A joy he and we deserve.

Rating: Please, get the most valuable basketball mind of its generation (Lowry) a helmet!

Montrezl Harrell

Trez seems to have bought a new house this week and went to take a tour of it. He showcased the relaxing pond in the front yard, likely listed with “great vibes” as pictured, as well as the gigantic pond in the back where he invited Paul George to come and cast a few in soon.

George responded quickly, complementing Harrell on how nice his new pond looked but needing some proof of bites before he made the trip.

Rating: A great guide in fishpond decorum here, from both ends.

Enes Kanter

Kanter continues to be “at it” online, this one seems really rude to Mother Nature and that lady doesn’t need any more sleights.

Rating: Twisted firestarter, for sure. Also, why?

Rudy Gobert

Here we have Gobert deep into his recovery, doing yoga on a boogie board in his pool. Not sure how to view this one in terms of effectiveness but seems like a fun one to toss in the mix.

Rating: Rudy seems fine!

Rudy Gay

Rudy Gay went shoe shopping and took a minute to post a selfie with a quote even more reflective than the photons of his body bouncing back to him.

Rating: Remember when the big thing about extended isolation was who was going to use the time to write the next King Lear? We got it.

Jimmy Butler

There are few things as steady, reliable and comforting in this world as the sun rising each and every day and Jimmy Butler doing some extreme amount of physical conditioning in order to prepare himself to eat a completely regular-ass meal.

Rating: He did this for four hours, he ate two tacos.

Jordan Clarkson

You know how eating itself has become repetitive? You’re doing it two, three times a day formally, and probably a whole lot more in between, mindlessly? Well, here’s Jordan Clarkson showing that it’s still nice to extend a little effort toward yourself when it comes to chowing down. You don’t have to make a whole charcuterie board, you could just pour some chips into a bowl rather than clawing for another greasy handful.

Rating: Wash it down with whatever you like, in a glass!

Jaylen Brown

This comes from Brown’s appearance on the GQ Sports YouTube channel. Brown, deadpan, admitted to taking a travel record player with him wherever he goes, then, more deadpan, walked viewers through some of his favorite records, showing off the album sleeves as he went.

Rating: The High Fidelity remake we’ve been waiting for.

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Tim hit the dunes! The greens! The bogey! The birdie! Went par for the course! I’m doing this to enrage my colleague, Robby, who could probably tell you what those clubs are on sight whereas I’m here to tell you how flawless Hardaway looks in a lightweight golf shirt!

Rating: A whole lotta fun in one!

Buddy Hield

Buddy Hield is an extremely fast and agile man, which is the only reason I wasn’t worried when I saw him get on a longboard this week and go ripping down the road with his dogs, gleeful, to either side.

Rating: It’s still a wrongboard, even when Buddy Hield does it.

Jonas Jerebko

Jerebko has been back in his native Sweden for a little while now, and as best as I can tell his family lives on the shores of the most magical and picturesque lake in the country, carefree, godmorgoning everyone as they go, or else this is an accurate depiction of all of Sweden.

Rating: Godmorgon.

Bam Adebayo

Ha ha, Adebayo really laid it down for this fuzzy freeloader that matches, exquisitely, Bam’s whole bottom half.

Rating: Got his ass.

P.J. Tucker

Recently back from celebrating his 35th birthday like the king of all he lays his eyes upon that he is, Tucker immediately got to work treating his partner like the queen she is for Mother’s Day. He prepared a delicious brunch of cheesy grits and shrimp, chopping, at times, with his eyes closed. Please do not risk your life by attempting this technique at home!

Rating: Counting down the days until Tucker is back on the court, using this eyes closed technique on cowering offensive players.

Andre Drummond

I’ll be honest, I’ve sort of glazed over this development but best I can tell is that Drummond has started something like a live radio show in his home but now he is dressing up for them. The important thing is he’s having fun.

Rating: That has nothing to do with the pandemic, more to do with Cleveland.

Wayne Ellington

Ellington has been focused on staying competitive during this self-iso, working out and practicing with tiny, persistent, impenetrable defensive opponents who are determined to play well past their bedtime.

Rating: Dribbles, drooling, this guy’s got all the drills.

Jaren Jackson Jr.

Oh boy this is the perfect mixture of bittersweet and funny, picturing Jackson taking a solemn shot of the FedEx Forum as he drives by and sends a digital postcard with a heartfelt note of, “Miss U Bro” dedicated to the building itself.

Rating: Thinking about writing the library a 10-page letter, honestly.

Rasheed Wallace

We haven’t seen Paul Pierce in weeks and I would be way more worried if Rasheed Wallace had not emerged from the misty woods this week to deliver a PSA on social distancing and staying active. Ball doesn’t lie and neither does Sheed when it comes to letting you know what’s good for yourself!

Rating: Rasheed Wallace’s Wisdom? Sheed’s Shack? Test driving some replacements for PAUL PIERCE’S PLACE if he doesn’t show up soon.

Bryn Forbes

Thrilled to announce we’ve got a runner up against Tim Hardaway Jr. for who makes quarantining look the most relaxed, well-hydrated.

Rating: Also a runner up for who wears a hat very well.

Richard Jefferson

Speaking of well-hydrated, here’s Richard Jefferson with a joke to take us home this week. Thank you, Richard!

Rating: Runner up captions for Jefferson included, “I fought the Claw and the Claw ONE, as in one too many!”