- Now that we're in the heart of summer, it's time to navigate the NBA's dead period. With that in mind, here's The Crossover's off-season guide.
The NBA off-season is about to enter its actual off-season stage. The first few weeks of July wean us off the high of the Finals with wild free-agency happenings and Summer League. But late July heading into August? Late July heading into August is very bleak. Players are on vacation. NBA writers are Instagramming pictures from Utah. This is the time of the year when the NBA actually takes a break, and we’re left fighting for scraps until the start of training camp.
So what can you do until the start of preseason? Here’s one Crossover writer’s guide to surviving the summer.
If You Still Want to Watch Basketball
Honestly, the Big3 league is a decent option if you’re desperate for hoops. Even if Allen Iverson isn’t playing, I had a lot of fun hanging out the league’s first game in Brooklyn. The Basketball Tournament is also still happening, but I’ve never watched one of those games, so I can’t vouch for it personally.
For real hoopheads, the best place to keep up with basketball is YouTube. I’ve spent many nights laying in bed until 4 a.m. with tears streaming down my face watching Dwyane Wade Miami highlight mixes. Seriously, I’ve watched this video no less than 200 times and I cry during every viewing:
There are hours of basketball to be enjoyed every night on YouTube, with many of the best highlight mixes set to mid-aughts indie rock songs like “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand. If you really can’t stay away from hoops, this is the best way to stay on the juice.
Read a Book!
When was the last time you actually read a book? And I'm not talking about the time you pretended to read one just to impress your one smart friend. I know what you’re thinking, though—what book do I read?
You already know enough about basketball, so expand your horizons. If you like something grounded in reality, Open City by Teju Cole is rather gripping for a novel without an overly intricate plot. If you need something a little more fantastical, I still don’t understand the ending of Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami, so please read that and get back to me.
But if you really can’t stay away from sports, allow me to suggest something radical: Pick up a Sports Illustrated magazine! It’s like reading on the Internet, only better. Do you hate autoplay videos? Do you like cool photos and thoughtful designs? Then you’ll love our magazine. You can find a copy of SI practically anywhere, but if going to your local drugstore seems like too much work, we’ll even deliver it to your home. I honestly can’t think of a better/more convenient reading experience.
Check Out Some New Music
I went to go see The National play their new album front to back in upstate New York earlier this month, and it did not disappoint. I very briefly held lead singer Matt Berninger in my arms and nothing else in my life will ever come close to that feeling.
If you haven’t listened to Future Islands' new album from earlier this year, you should definitely check that out. But if you really want to start grooving this summer, it’s not too late to join the Dave Matthews Band army. You don’t need to get a firedancer tattoo or start wearing cargo shorts. But you can enjoy this acoustic version of “Crash Into Me,” which one YouTube commenter described as a “panty dropper.”
Go for a Walk!
When the NBA playoffs were at their most frantic, I found myself walking more and more to take my mind off basketball. Did you know that you can just walk places for free? In all seriousness, spend more time away from sports and discover more about your surroundings. Remember what I said about NBA writers instagramming from their vacations? Turns out there’s a good reason for that.