Ricky Rubio always wanted to jump out of an airplane.

For years, it was a line on his bucket list, a mental file he treats with reverence. The thing is, he could never quite carve out the time. You know how these things go, right? There were always other activities and events in the way: basketball and family and more basketball and off-court professional obligations and more basketball. NBA players are one-man corporations, and their time and words have the ability to make or break hundreds of other businesses.

They don't get offseasons anymore, even if the league's calendar says they do.

So, yeah, it was easy for Rubio to get lost in his professional world, to let the days float by without pausing to let life take his breath away.

But then finally, in early June, he decided that the moment had arrived. So he commissioned a company in Empuriabrava—a small, beachside tourist community in northern Spain—to take him skydiving. He invited six friends because he wanted to gift them this chance, but also because he was scared. Some were reticent, but he urged them to take advantage of the opportunity.

"Everything's set up. I got you the plane. This is your chance," Rubio implored. "You might not have another. Tomorrow may not exist."

That morning, Rubio, along with his six invitees, boarded a twin-engine jump plane. He pulled a pair of plastic goggles down over his dark, newly grown, Jon Snow-like hair and, with an instructor wrapped around his back, bounded out into the bright blue sky. His turquoise zip-up sweatshirt waved in the whisking wind.