We all know how the big-name NBA players of the world spent most of their offseason: representing Team USA or their home country in London. But how about the guys not preparing for and competing in the Olympics?
Playbook spoke with 11 ballers returning to training camp to find out -- and discovered they all had their own unique thrills. Here are the first five:
What was your favorite trip?
Chase Budinger, Timberwolves: "The only trip I went on this summer was on a cruise. This was my first cruise ever, and I went with some buddies to the western Caribbean for a week. Two places we traveled to were Jamaica and the Cayman Islands."
Jimmer Fredette, Kings: "I went to Hawaii on my honeymoon and went zip-lining, snorkeling with turtles and dolphins and boogie boarding. I also went to my hometown in upstate New York [Glens Falls] and went boating a lot at my uncle's lake house."
Danny Green, Spurs: "I was in Tenerife [Canary Islands] for about four to five days and worked a basketball camp while I was there. I got to see the north and south part of the island and also went to their biggest water park [Siam Park]. I actually had a blast at the water park. At the camp, the kids were very skilled and easy to work with. In Moscow, I participated in the NBA's Basketball Without Borders [youth program]. The top 50 European basketball players were there as well. We performed community services with different groups of kids, which included attending a Special Olympics event, visiting an orphanage and working with high school kids."
Mo Williams, Jazz: "One part of my summer was relocating. The past four years I was in San Diego with the family. That’s where I had my offseason home, and I just recently relocated to Dallas this past summer. We bought a house, and we’re going to remodel. My youth basketball academy in Jackson, Miss., where I'm from, was behind the move. That was the most important thing. Dallas is a four-and-a-half-hour drive and an hour flight from Mississippi. So it's really close. Also, Dallas has a bigger mass of kids that I can touch on. I wanted to be able to grow the academy, and Dallas is a good place for it."
What's the craziest thing that happened on your travels?
Budinger: "We got to hold a giant stingray in Stingray City in Grand Cayman, which was intense but really cool."
Fredette: "Not too many things. A lot of delayed flights, but that's about it."
Green: "Not many crazy, interesting things happened during these trips, but it was good to experience different cultures. They do many things differently over there, such as using different terminology when measuring distance, height, weight, temperature, etc. I had a great opportunity to sightsee a lot in Russia and shop for antiques."
Reggie Jackson, Thunder: "I actually did four flights in five days. I went from Colorado to Vegas, Vegas to OKC, OKC to Colorado, then Colorado to California. And my flights got delayed. That was probably the worst part this summer. I first had to go home to Colorado Springs, then I had to go to Vegas, and then I actually had a minor injury in Vegas [during NBA summer league], so I had a layover flight the next day to go back to OKC to see the trainers. Both of my flights got delayed, and then I had to turn around and try to go back to Colorado, but my last flight got delayed about four hours. Then I headed to L.A. for rest and rehab. It was probably the worst week out of the summer. I really don't remember where I was at or what time it was."
Williams: "I remember for my anniversary, I’m in Vegas and staying at the Encore. I get in the cab, and the first thing I hear is Steve Wynn get on the little screen in the taxi. I say, 'OK, I’m staying in his hotel. Maybe that’s why.' Well, we go eat at a restaurant and we get into another taxi, and then it's Steve Wynn once again on the screen. Now I come to find out he has put his screen in every taxi in Vegas, telling you about The Wynn. I found that was kind of amazing and annoying at the same damn time. This was in September, right before Labor Day."
Any fun fan stories from your summer?
Budinger: "The best part of coming home to San Diego is heading to my favorite Mexican food place, and they always have a welcome-back burrito for me."
Fredette: "When I was in Salt Lake this summer, a boy asked me to sign a pair of shoes. When I saw the shoes, I realized they were mine from my freshman year of college and he had gotten them out of the dumpster outside my dorm where I had thrown them away."
Green: "I experienced many different fan interactions overseas than in the U.S because we have so many foreign players on the Spurs. A great amount of foreign fans like to watch and support our team, so I encountered plenty of Tony [Parker], Manu [Ginobili] and Tim [Duncan] fans, especially during my trip to Spain. I was made aware of our special connection with Spain from meeting and seeing all of the Spurs fans in Tenerife."
Jackson: "Mostly regular autographs, but I actually got to meet one of the pilots, which was kind of crazy, and chat with him about what his life is like. I don't know if I want to be a private pilot, but it was fun. I've always wanted to go ride in the cockpit, but maybe I can do that with our team this year."
Williams: "I really don't have crazy encounters. A lot of times, I can slide under the radar because I am 6 feet tall. I like that. I can go grocery shopping. The funny thing this, in certain situations where it happens often, I'm going somewhere and then nobody says anything, but they really notice me. It's crazy. One time over the summer, I was at the cash register, and the guy that was working there has a phone like he's texting, but it's in the air. Who texts in the air unless you can't see good? I knew he was taking a picture, so what I did is I just grabbed my phone and pointed at him and took a picture of him."
Did you pick up any new hobbies?
Budinger: "I have been getting into tennis. I always try to do something active other than basketball when the season is over, and I got into tennis these last two offseasons."
Fredette: "I played tennis a lot this summer and really tried to get better. I still can't beat my 54-year-old father-in-law, though."
Jackson: "Bowling. I'm addicted to it. It's just relaxing. I went like twice a day during the summer. I would wake up, work out, bowl and then play again at night. I'm getting better. I still got a lot to improve on, but I'm shooting like 140. I played with longtime friends in Colorado. There's actually a spot up by where I live. I've been thinking about getting some customized bowling balls, and I'm going to get two or three. I'm probably going to get the maroon and gold (for Boston College), an OKC one and then maybe one with high school colors. I also got into go-karts this summer. My teammate Cole Aldrich has really gotten me into them. There's a spot right by my house in OKC I didn't know about. It's like a big warehouse, kind of. The go-karts go like 35 mph, and I’m kind of addicted to that now. We race them."
Williams: "My new hobby that I just adopted is being in the [music] studio just for fun. I decided to make me a pregame CD. It's almost done, about another week or so. It's for personal use. Me and my trainer, Jay Jackson, we're always together in the summer because we're working out. You work out two, three hours a day, and then you got dead time after that. So we decided to go to the studio, write some stuff, get some beats. We're rapping. We're having fun with it too. My brother, Rozay Mo, is a professional entertainer/rapper. Not me. This is a hobby. He inspired me. He just dropped a CD, 'The Chandon Chronicles.' It's his first CD, and I’m supporting him with that. I just decided to do one myself just for fun. David Banner, who's from my hometown, will be on my next CD. I'm going to drop a new CD every summer right before the season starts, so I can listen to it during the season. It used to be awkward hearing my own voice, but you know what? Now it feels natural. But at the same time, I'm no Jay-Z. But I'm still going to give my teammates copies."
Did you try out any new workouts?
Budinger: "I do some beach training in the offseason when I am back in San Diego. Sprints, jumping, running hills."
Fredette: "Not really. I do a lot of running and cycling, though. I love cardio, and it's really good to do in Colorado because of the elevation. Mostly I do basketball workouts and lifting."
Green: "I recently integrated boxing into my workout regimen with our team. It has helped me improve my hand speed, core and hand-eye coordination. I tried the yoga thing for a while but haven't really gotten a chance to really get into it like I want to yet."
Williams: "Absolutely. I go see my guy Todd Durkin. He's one of the best trainers. He's out of San Diego, and he trains myself, Drew Brees and others. He's one of the best to do it. He trained LaDainian [Tomlinson] when he was playing for the Chargers. We do all kinds of things. It's a great workout. He implements boxing, he implements pyrometrics, everything. When you work out with him, you're going to be in the best shape ever."
Did you relocate at all over the vacation?
Jackson: "Just the same spot, but actually through my travels, I got to hang out with probably my best friend in the NBA, Paul George, in Indiana. We met during the lockout, just going to my first workout in California after getting drafted. We were working out together, just chilling. We figured out we liked to do some of the same things."
Fredette: "I actually bought a home on Colorado. It's right on a golf course, and that's definitely the best part. It has an unbelievable view of downtown Denver."
Green: "I just purchased a new home, and I'm still adding a lot to it. There is much to be done, but my favorite thing in it is my bed. Other than that, nothing yet."
Williams: "I’m doing top of the line to my new house. We actually tanned out the walls. Our master bedroom is probably about 1,500 square feet. When we get done, it'll be over 3,000 square feet. So the master bedroom will be crazy. I'm doing an indoor gym in my house. The gym's going to include a half-court basketball. It's going to be nice. I'm going to have top-of-the-line Crestron [electronics]. I'm putting that system in, which is not cheap. It's going to be a great home when I get done with it. I've got a 2,500-square-foot wine cellar that I'm building, and I got the boom-boom room. We call it the dungeon. We got five TVs in it, a poker table, couches, the game station. I play a lot of video games in the offseason when I'm relaxing. It's going to be real nice when it's done."
Did you buy a new car?
Green: "I didn't purchase any new cars or fancy toys. I'm a very simple, frugal guy."
Williams: "I first bought my [Dodge] Challenger in 2008, and it was all black with the black rims. I decided to christen it out, so I painted it a matte color with the rims to match. I took the regular Challenger screen out and threw a 12-inch in there. I moved the air conditioning and all those things to the top. And then I put some speakers in the back. I just made a brand-new car. I just gave it a whole new makeover, and she needed a remodel. I had my Challenger in a car magazine not too long ago. I’m just into cars. I've had too many and had to sell a few, but that's my passion. It's cars and watches. I'm trying to shield my way from both, but I don't know if I will. I'm probably going to keep buying them."
Who was the coolest person you met this summer?
Jackson: "Everybody has a celeb dream girl. For me, it's Alicia Keys. And I could've met her. A bunch of us were in the studio, including me and Paul George, and Alicia Keys was there, freestyling and dancing. Paul told me after she left. I just wanted to say hi, but I had no idea that she was there. It was unexpected. I just came back into town and he told me we were going to the studio. He's from Cali, so we were up in L.A."
Fredette: "I met some people that work at E! TV. I met a few of the members from the TV show 'Glee' and then a few of the E! hosts. My wife is into broadcast journalism, so we got to take a tour of the E! studio while I was in L.A. working out."
Williams: "I think it was Coach Carter, man. I never met the actual Coach Carter. He had heard about my academy, and through a mutual friend, I was able to hang out with him. I think that was the highlight of my summer because he put me on so much as far as writing books. I'm in the process of inquiring about writing a children's book -- things like that. That would probably be my encounter that I least expected, and I'm glad I did meet him. He was a guest speaker at the academy, along with David Banner. I've been doing the academy for four years now. I take the top 12 boys and the top 12 girls in the state, and I do a two-day camp. The first day we do all workshops. Basically, I bring in an academic compliance from the NBA. I pull each and every kid's transcript. I know where they're at academically. And with the compliance counselor, when those kids leave, they know exactly what they need to be eligible for the NCAA. Then we add a series on how to handle peer pressure, how to handle the media. This summer, Al Jefferson and Monta Ellis worked with the kids. And on the second day, we do all drills. Impact Basketball, out of Vegas, comes in and runs my whole day of basketball drills that the kids have to do on the next level."
Did you get engaged or married?
Budinger: "No marriage. Living the single life."
Fredette: "I got married. Her name is Whitney, and I met her in college. I proposed last year before my rookie season. We got married in Denver and had our reception at Cherry Hills Country Club. It was basically one big dance party. I love to dance, so we had a huge dance floor."
Green: "No marriage or engagement. Still got a lot of time before that."
Williams: "I celebrated my fourth anniversary in Vegas. It was great, man. We had a great time. We had some dinners and saw some shows and just kind of relaxed, got away from the kids. We saw the Cirque du Soleil show 'O,' George Wallace and Le Reve in the Wynn. We have four boys. We just wanted to get away for the weekend. We got out of there the day before Labor Day when everybody else was coming in."