We’ve all heard the stories of sports stars going broke not long after leaving their professional leagues. The NBA has always been one of the worst for this phenomenon. NBA stars typically start very young into the sport (most with little education behind them), make huge salaries, and don’t plan for life after sport. It wasn’t long ago that basketball stars in college didn’t even have to go to class. Because of this, some numbers state that upwards of 60% of NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. That number is definitely lower these days as colleges, teams, and organizations ensure that their players are given financial advice and assistance, especially the really young ones. It also helps that young players have solid examples of what not to do.
But this list isn’t about NBA stars going broke, although some of them might if their spending habits ever catch up to them. This list is just about the lavish lifestyles of the rich and famous. While it may not paint the most accurate day-to-day picture of an NBA star’s life, we love looking at how rich people travel. These are the times that they go all out, and most of us picture them living this way all the time. Truthfully, they probably only travel two to three times a year, but when they do get out and see the world, they see it in a way that few of us could ever do ourselves. Not everyone in the NBA likes to go big, though. Some use their time to help others around the world. We’ll take a look at a few different ways that NBA stars spend their vacations. Here are 20 Photos That Reveal How NBA Stars Like To Travel.
20 Chris Bosh – World Tour To Experience Culture
Chris Bosh and his family are no strangers to travel. But, they don’t go to all the same tropical hotspots that most vacationers go to.
The Bosh family has gone to all different places in the world, such as Peru, Morocco, Spain, and more.
When the Bosh family visits these places, they go out and try to experience the culture as well. For example, they recently went trekking on camels back in Morocco and learned to make traditional rugs. It’s a neat way to see the world instead of staying in an Americanized hotel away from the people. Bosh might even have a career in travel if he decides to totally step away from the game.
19 Russell Westbrook – Private Plane (And Always With His Wife And Son)
When you’re one of the highest-paid basketball stars in the world and you have endorsements coming at you from every angle, why not live life luxuriously? Well, this is the question Russell Westbrook has made famous on his social media, stating,
“it’s a why not? lifestyle”
on pictures of him in front of private planes and the Eiffel tower. But Westbrook almost always travels with his wife and son wherever he goes. This past summer, Westbrook shared some videos of him dancing and singing while on a large private boat in Cabo with his family.
18 Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, And LeBron James - Spain (On A Banana Boat)
When you’re friends with your teammates, your wives are all friends, and you’re all super famous and rich, you get to take incredible group vacations together, just like Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and LeBron James did in 2016. These three and their spouses
went out to Spain, got a yacht, and partied in the water doing water sports in short shorts.
Seriously, though, seeing these three giant men on a banana boat is a hilarious sight. Each of the members of the group posted different videos documenting their trip. It looked like a whale of a time.
17 Amir Johnson – Thailand (Culture And Animals)
Philadelphia 76ers big man Amir Johnson is a man who, like Chris Bosh, loves to experience different cultures that might not attract the regular stars. A few years ago, when he was with the Toronto Raptors, Johnson took his family to Thailand. While there, he was happy to pose with fans and people who were just excited to take a picture with someone so tall. But it wasn’t just the people that Johnson was interested in. He also took pictures with different animals and participated in a tug-of-war against an elephant, losing handily.
“I’ve been a lot of places, I love to travel, I love to try stuff different,”
Johnson said. “I want to see the world, so I’m going to keep on experiencing different stuff.”
16 Steph Curry – Tanzania In Order To Give Back
Call it vacation or work or philanthropy; it doesn’t really matter. What’s important is how Steph Curry, one of the biggest stars in the game, spends his down time. He could be relaxing poolside in the tropics somewhere, which he definitely does during other periods, but he also gives back. As part of the anti-malaria program “Nothing But Nets,”
Curry traveled to Tanzania to distribute and personally hang mosquito nets to protect villagers against the disease.
While there, Curry did some publicity for the program hoping to raise awareness and acquire some additional funding. He even got to play a little basketball at one of the local courts.
15 Jeremy Lin –Asia To Capitalize On His Popularity
Jeremy Lin, member of the Brooklyn Nets, made a big splash in the NBA over the past few years. His Taiwanese heritage makes him quite the role model, particularly for basketball fans in Asia. A few years back,
Lin started to capitalize on his popularity by creating an annual Asia trip, a promotional tour to help grow the game there.
In 2017, he went to Taiwan to act as a guest coach in a basketball camp. He later continued on into China to do more of the same. While there, Lin takes the time to visit the countries as well as the people. The picture here is from 2013 when Lin visited the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in the Sichuan province.
14 Dwyane Wade – Haiti (Private Paradise)
When you’re Dwyane Wade and you get to travel with your wife, Gabrielle Union, every vacation looks good. But Wade certainly lives it up wherever he is. He, Union, Chris Bosh, and Mrs. Bosh went to Haiti in 2015 and had their own private paradise.
They even shared a picture of their private helicopter shuttle.
This visit came five years after the disastrous earthquake, which really did a number on Haitian tourism. Wade and his entourage were met with many thanks from the Haitian people for promoting the experience via social media. Wade isn’t a stranger to helicopters either. He once posted a picture of him boarding one to visit friends during Thanksgiving. But that’s nothing compared to Kobe Bryant, who used to take copters to games.
13 Boris Diaw – Roatán (Lots Of Fishing)
Boris Diaw shared a little of his vacation on social media during the All-Star break in 2015. Diaw visited Roatán, which is a little island off the coast of Honduras. We know that Diaw went out fishing quite a bit, but by the looks of his private little dock, we have to assume that he spent many hours under that gorgeous night sky. Though you might think that the suggestion is quite silly, big stars (such as Boris Diaw) sharing pictures from their adventures in little locales like this can do wonders for tourism.
12 Clippers – The Team Takes Amsterdam
While most stars like to go on a vacation alone or in small groups, they sometimes decide to go as a team. That’s what the LA Clippers did before they shipped Blake Griffin off to the Detroit Pistons. They all (or most of them)
went off to various countries in Europe, including the Czech Republic and Amsterdam, in a large group.
While in the Czech Republic, they spent most of their time in the water, taking pictures with fans and just frolicking in the water like little kids. In Amsterdam, it was a different story. The guys spent a few hours testing the wares of the various shops, which makes us wonder about the NBA’s drug policy.
11 Kobe Bryant - Greece (But With A Bodyguard)
Back in 2014, when Kobe Bryant was still playing basketball, he was already in retirement mode, or at least he was practicing for it while on vacation. He took his family over to Greece to enjoy the sights and sounds of one of the most beautiful countries in the world. He went to Mykonos with his daughters and his super hot wife, Vanessa, taking in some of the ruins and the delicious food the country has to offer. But, when you’re Kobe Bryant, there is no anonymity, not even in Greece. That’s why when he travels, he takes a bodyguard.
10 Shaq – Dominican Republic
You had to know that Shaq would make an appearance on this list. Everything he does, he adds a little pizzazz to it. In 2015, Shaq visited Casa De Campo in the Dominican Republic.
The resort even used the big man as a way to promote their resort afterward.
Shaq stayed in one of the private villas there overlooking the water and took a few photos to remember his special time. He posted a pretty great picture of himself with arms spread overlooking the ocean on his Instagram account, which was probably the best promotion that Casa Del Campo could ask for.
9 Carlos Boozer - On A Yacht (Dolphin Selfie)
Though he is retired now, Carlos Boozer shared some vacation photos a few years ago of him on vacation with a few friends. He, like so many other NBA players, spent the day soaking up the sun on a beautiful yacht. But, Boozer’s one photo caught the attention of everyone because of its shockingly perfect timing. As he was getting a picture snapped of him just lounging and relaxing, a dolphin jumped up out of the water to say what’s up. This is how millionaires roll, people. You know you're famous when even a dolphin wants to have its picture taken with you!
8 LeBron James – Around Town (All Day, Every Day)
For LeBron James, travelling in style isn’t a once-every-so-often type of thing. Everything about LeBron is a statement. It’s all theatrics. This is the guy who turned his decision to go to the Miami Heat into a TV special. So, when he’s driving around, he doesn’t take a Ford Focus.
He goes to his garage and chooses between one of his many six-digit vehicles.
Take this gorgeous Ferrari F430 Spider, for example, a car with almost 500 hp. The price tag on this sports car was well over $200,000. This is his groceries car. We wonder what car he drives when he goes to the airport...
7 Scotty Pippen – Around The Ocean
Scotty Pippen may be a retired NBA player now, but don't be mistaken, he still is living the life of luxury to this day. The retired Chicago Bull star can often be found sailing around in his personal yacht, a 30-metre Burger called Lady Larsa (named after his wife of course). This yacht was bought by the Pippens family in 2001, and they have certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of it. Basically, when you own a yacht like this, every day is considered a vacation.
6 Magic Johnson – Mediterranean Birthday On A Yacht
Some people get a party thrown for them. Some people just get a cake, but Magic Johnson gets a month-long yacht cruise for his birthday. That's right, late last year, Johnson, his family, and Samuel L. Jackson, all rented out a yacht and went sailing in the Mediterranean. But this is no regular old yacht.
This yacht, called Siren, is a mansion that costs nearly $700,000 a week.
According to TMZ, the yacht is “73 meters long—has a movie theater, gym, dining room, hot tub, helicopter pad, an elevator ... and, of course, WiFi.” What more could anyone want?
5 Klay Thompson – Bahamas
Klay Thompson’s father is from the Bahamas, so when he goes there on vacation, it’s a little like he’s going back home. The pictures and videos that Klay shared from his Bahamas trip were of him swimming and living it up with his girlfriend. One particularly cool photo is of Klay snorkeling in an old sunken ship. People may remember the photos and videos of Klay dancing in China which got a lot of attention on social media, so we know that he knows how to let loose when he is on vacation.
4 Joakim Noah – Yachting In Ibiza
It doesn’t matter that Joakim Noah isn’t traditionally handsome. This guy is a millionaire and knows how to have a good time. Attractive or not, when you're a millionaire, you know how to live it up! So, when he goes to Ibiza,
he gets a yacht, fills it to the brim with phenomenal specimens of the female gender,
and vacations the right way. He was spotted getting particularly close to one beauty on this trip, who seemed to know exactly when the camera was on her and always made sure that she showed off her best side. We're not judging.
3 Pau Gasol – Ibiza With A Beauty
Back in 2011, after a disappointing showing in the NBA finals, Pau Gasol took off with friends and his stunning girlfriend in a boat to Ibiza.
The photos from this trip really prove that basketball stars can easily forget about bad performances.
Just look at his girlfriend, Silvia Lopez Castro. Who in the world could care about basketball, winning or losing, when she’s around? We know we wouldn't. There are some awkward photos from this trip too, where it’s clear that Pau spotted a sneaky cameraman trying to take photos while Castro tanned without her bikini top on.
2 Kevin Durant – India (But Didn't Enjoy It)
Kevin Durant’s trip to India to help grow the game looked like it was a lot of fun for the star. He took some great pictures like the one above and seemed genuinely happy. But, when he got back, he was asked about the trip and his comments caused some controversy:
“Um, it was a unique experience. I went with no expectation, no view on what it’s supposed to be like. I usually go to places where I at least have a view in my head. India, I’m thinking I’m going to be around palaces and royalty and gold — basically thought I was going to Dubai… Then when I landed there, I saw the culture and how they live and it was rough. It’s a country that’s 20 years behind in terms of knowledge and experience. You see cows in the street, monkeys running around everywhere, hundreds of people on the side of the road, a million cars, and no traffic violations. Just a bunch of underprivileged people there and they want to learn how to play basketball. That (expletive) was really, really dope to me.”
Later, Durant tried to clarify and apologize for his misconstrued words saying, “I’m grateful for the time I’ve got to spend there and I’m really pissed about how my comments came off, that’s my fault, should’ve worded that better. I spoke about the difference between my imagination and reality there in Delhi and about where the game is compared to the rest of the world. No offense from this side, I’m coming back out there for more camps and cool (expletive). Sorry...”
1 Tristan Thompson – Virgin Islands
Wherever it was that Tristan Thompson stayed in, the Virgin Islands looked incredible. The view of the ocean and the amazing patio with a private pool are all to die for. But Thompson didn’t stay at his hotel/villa the entire time. He went out and experienced, sharing other pictures of him out and about. That being said, the “rainforest” that he went to during this time might have just been inside a mall or a casino because it looked insanely fake. It’s possible that he stayed inside the whole time. But, if you consider the girl he was with, pre-Khloe Kardashian, staying in might have been a good idea.
Sources: TMZ; People; TSN; Sports illustrated