When NBA stars go on vacation, they do it right.
Many took advantage of the 2013 offseason to travel halfway around the globe, enjoying sights and scenes that seem almost too splendid to be real. No continent was off limits to these high-profile ballers, who savored the sand and sun while resting up before another campaign.
Where exactly did the NBA's finest wander? A handful of them gave us glimpses into their summer endeavors via social media, and it's hard not to get jealous when taking in the views.
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving, who was born in Melbourne, returned Down Under in early July to host a series of basketball camps.
Between hoops clinics, he was able to spend some time with everyone's favorite Australians.
Elsewhere in the Pacific, Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin soaked up the ultrablue spectacle that is Hawaii's coast.
Vacation snapshots don't get much better than this one.
Actually, the following photo from Nate Robinson might give Lin's a run for its money. The Denver Nuggets guard took his turn plunging into Hawaii's waters—in typical Robinson fashion.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
As part of his "Black Mamba Tour," Kobe Bryant took a jaunt to the Southern Hemisphere and stopped in Rio de Janeiro. He gave us a sweeping view of the lit-up coastline at Copacabana.
Kobe's travels also took him to Europe, where he checked out Paris' most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower.
If you've never seen Kenneth Faried stand still, this is what it looks like.
The Manimal took a break from constantly dunking on people and toured one of the world's most popular getaways: Venice, Italy. Here, he gazes at the historic church of San Simeone Piccolo.
London, United Kingdom
Al Horford's series of European destinations included London, where the Atlanta Hawks center cruised the River Thames to find the London Eye, a 443-foot Ferris wheel.
The Balearic Islands
Chilling by the water is precisely what Lakers forward Pau Gasol needed after a rather stressful 2012-13 season.
But this isn't the coast of California; it's the shore of the Mediterranean island Menorca.
Chris Bosh also did some relaxing in Europe, including the Balearic Islands, Spain and Italy. He sailed around on a private boat and delighted in the spoils of winning an NBA title. His surroundings were nothing short of spectacular.
Lake Tahoe, California
Players don't have to venture outside the United States for breathtaking scenery.
In his final days as a free agent, Dwight Howard took fishing trips to Lake Tahoe and Aspen. His trademark grin suggests he enjoyed the excursion.
For most of us, a fun weekend getaway consists of a trip to the lakefront or nearest amusement park. For Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio, it means a quick trip with teammates to Puerto Rico.
He's pictured here with J.J. Barea, Dante Cunningham and Greg Stiemsma, along with former T-Wolf Lou Amundson.
An Adidas basketball tour also took Rubio to Shanghai, where he captured the multicolored glow of the massive city.
San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker also enjoyed a tour of Asia, including a jaunt to the Great Wall of China.
Robin Lopez and Quincy Pondexter are hardly elite NBA players, but they were rock stars while attending an NBA 3X tournament in Singapore. When they weren't busy shaking hands and signing autographs, they did some sightseeing.
It must be a tough reality check when these superstars resume their grueling workouts and return to the court for another season.
In fact, it's difficult for me to wake up to the real world after simply scrolling through those enviable photos.
Making it to the NBA might be hard work, but the perks seem well worth it.
Follow Dan O'Brien on Twitter: @DanielO_BR
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