Despite official astronomical placement on the 23rd of September, everyone knows that August is the end of summer. It’s when the heat stops being cute. It’s when the baseball does its best to fight off the ominous return of the football. It’s when the youth recreational programs retreat from sight. It’s when the teachers find new generalities to hang on their walls. It’s when the kids wonder if they remember anything they learned the last year in school, or even just how to read.
This ending of summer is always a bittersweet one. Summer is freedom, at least if you’re a child, teacher, or some hideous combination of both (a *shudders* graduate student). But, as Bono once said, "In New York freedom looks like too many choices," and the same can be said of the start of summer. Boredom is welcome when you’re busy. Boredom is not welcome when you’re bored.
And so as we prepare to go back to school or continue on as season-averse cogs in the machine, our Milwaukee Bucks prepare for their most-anticipated season of basketball in quite some time. We’ve seen the Twitter vids of Jabari working his way back to full health. We’ve seen Giannis Vine his way across Europe. We’ve seen MCW do that one cool highlight finally.
But we haven’t seen what our Young Bucks were up to in their non-training moments this summer, or at least not all of it. Ball is life, but life is sometimes more than ball. And so here, in this article, I will imagine what Kha$h and Moose and the rest of the crew were up to on their annual vacations. None of this is based in fact. I do not know any of these players personally, though I have done my best to get to know Jabari Parker. These pictures are photoshopped. These stories are imagined. This is all just for fun. It’s August, after all, and so we need some of that.
A couple short years ago, Khris Middleton was a reluctant throw-in to the Pistons and Bucks legendary Swapping of the Brandons. A few short months ago, Khris Middleton signed a deal that makes him almost as rich as Michael Redd. When you embark on such an astronomic trajectory, from afterthought to centerpiece, you do not spend your summer normally; you ball out to the best of your abilities. So Khris Middleton spent most of his summer doing what anyone with that kind of money would do, surgically implanting Kold Hard Khash into every fiber of his body, Wolverine-style. Here’s hoping he can still shoot the 3.
Jabari Parker is boring. Have you heard about this? That he's a basketball player and also someone who is apparently boring? You have? Okay, so, y’all ready for a Jabari Parker is boring joke? I’ve got a good one for you, I promise. Grab a chair, set down your drink, and check the area for any sleeping infants so you don’t wake them with your raucous laughter. All right. Here we go. Let’s do it. Jabari Parker is soooooo boring (how boring is he, JJ!?!?) that he spent his summer vacation, that time away from work when he could have chosen to do anything in the world, in … A LIBRARY READING BOOKS. Whoops, did I go too a little too far there? I feel like no subject matter should be off-limits when it comes to jokes, but please do let me know in the comments if I have taken you some place uncomfortable.
Giannis Antetokounmpo did not have the standard childhood associated with the treacly Middle-Class American Dream, so this summer he aimed to rectify one of his biggest missed opportunities: space camp. Yet now, after his second season in the NBA, Giannis was blessed with an NBA contract and the promise of a future mammoth max contract under the new television deal.
Space camp seemed small, but the dream persisted, and Giannis instead enrolled in astronaut classes with NASA. Though political coverage will have you believe that the Obama administration has drastically cut funding for space travel, Giannis discovered how untrue this was first hand, as he led a solo voyage to the outer reaches of space. While such a trip seems time-consuming, it only took Giannis three steps.
In order for Ethan Hunt to infiltrate the ranks of the Impossible Mission Force’s shady adversaries, Tom Cruise’s venerable protagonist of the immortal Mission: Impossible franchise must don some sort of impeccably-made but still outlandish mask. Michael Carter-Williams set his sights on a similar task this summer, but he achieved success without having to hide his face even the slightest bit. That is because he is a better superspy than Tom Cruise, and also because he looks like Jay Baruchel and he just really wanted to be friends with Seth and James and the whole Apatow Crew. Michael promises that this summer was mostly like the last third of a typical Apatow movie, where the man children realize how to have good clean grown-up fun. His mother doesn’t believe him.
The man affectionately known as Moose started this summer overwhelmed by his summer options. After brief stays in Los Angeles and New York City, Monroe decided to settle down for a relaxing summer full of optimism and love and beer and cheese in the almost perfect state of Wisconsin. Though he declined to comment for this article, word is that every night this summer you could hear Greg yelling, "Wisconsin is actually really good, and the thing is that New York and LA are actually not good at all," from atop the back of a wild buck all the way over in the UP.
Ersan spent his summer in Detroit. Not on vacation, though he did see all of the wonderful sites the underappreciated city has to offer. No, he was there because he lives there now, actually. In Detroit. In the state of Michigan, the home of Ford, the Mitten State. That is where he lives. There, in Hockeytown, USA. And not in Milwaukee, where he used to live, but now does not, anymore.