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First he imitated Kobe Bryant ... by traveling.

Then, on Thursday, new Los Angeles Lakers guard D'Angelo Russell did Kobe like this:

All right, all right, we're almost certainly exaggerating. The Kobe move was all in good fun. Meanwhile this could be interpreted in multiple ways: 1) simply enthusiastic hyperbole from someone who was just watching impressive Tracy McGrady highlights; 2) a lamentation of the injuries that kept McGrady from reaching his heights; or 3) OMG Russell thinks McGrady was better than Kobe!

We're guessing it's a mix of 1 and 2; after all, who hasn't tweeted outrageous things based on a single moment/video, and who doesn't wish McGrady had been able to fulfill his potential?

But hey, this is the Lakers and this is Kobe, so it's fun to imagine his locker-room reaction to the No. 2 overall pick's offseason shenanigans.

Or, before then, he could just shut it down with:

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Brandon Armstrong isn't the only basketball player with impressive impression skills.

OK, so these NBA rookies might not impersonate quite at a B.A. level. But in this video for SB Nation, the likes of Willie Cauley-Stein, Frank Kaminsky, Jahlil Okafor and more try their hand at mimicking LeBron James, James Harden, Allen Iverson and others ... with Los Angeles Lakers rookie D'Angelo Russell doing a surprisingly honest Kobe Bryant, as well.

Not bad! Although Kobe might take issue with that pivot foot, rook.

Personal other favorites: Kelly Oubre's swag-filled Nick Young, R.J. Hunter crawling across the floor as Matthew Dellavedova, Russell's herky-jerky Harden and Trey Lyles asking former Kentucky teammate Cauley-Stein, "Do you watch basketball?"

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James Harden isn't always the flashiest, but he's nothing if not methodical and effective.

Even in a game that doesn't count in the NBA standings, and even after he gets dunked on by a lesser (but still pretty good) player.

That's what happened Sunday in the final of Los Angeles' Drew League, when the Southland native was absolutely put on a poster by Compton's own DeMar DeRozan, a onetime All-Star with the Toronto Raptors:

A video posted by eRnNy (@ernny_the_man) on


But true to form, the Houston Rockets star and players' MVP waited for his moment to strike ... then did this, over fellow Angeleno Nick Young, for what was the eventual game-winner:

A video posted by eRnNy (@ernny_the_man) on


Harden's team, LAUNFD (L.A. Unified), eventually beat Most Hated Players 98-93 in the final to continue a strong run in the Drew League.

And Harden wasn't just a one-play wonder. As he does, Harden had a game.

Is it NBA season yet?

H/T Bleacher Report

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On Saturday at his Michael Jordan Flight School camp in Santa Barbara, California, the eponymous NBA legend took a number of questions -- and some of them were tough, ranging from Phil Jackson or Dean Smith, all-time Chicago Bulls vs. all-time Los Angeles Lakers, one-on-one with LeBron James and much more.

As he tends to do with basketball-related queries, MJ answered them with candor. Here's a selection of the questions and answers, as seen in the video above from Bay Area HQ:

(Questions as said by Jordan himself.)


If I had to play one game, who would I want to coach: Phil Jackson or Dean Smith?

"Dean Smith. [Some audible gasps/murmurs.] Fortunately Dean Smith helped me become the basketball player I am today. Phil was lucky because I was taught the game by Dean Smith."


How did I feel when the Detroit Pistons walked off after we beat them in 1991 [in a 4-0 sweep in the Eastern Conference finals]?

"I felt fine. I felt accomplished. We beat them and they felt ashamed about us beating them. I felt like it was bad sportsmanship. I would not advise you guys to do that. You've got to be able to lose in grace and win in grace -- so don't walk off the court. Even though you hate losing, that's just bad sportsmanship if you do that."


Biggest trash-talker I ever played against?

"Probably Larry Bird. He talks a lot of trash. Good trash, though, not dirty trash. Good trash."


What did I think about when Shaq said that the all-time five of the greatest Lakers could beat the Bulls' five greatest players?

"I just felt like he was just talking. It's a debate. The thing is that we would never know. I think we would have killed them. He thinks they would have killed us. You guys decide. It's just a debate."


"Favorite player to play pick-up games with?"

"My best pick-up game I've ever played was the games and the practices with the [1992] Dream Team. ... My team was myself, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing, Larry Bird and Chris Mullin. We played against Magic Johnson, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley, David Robinson -- that's five, right? -- and we killed 'em.

Note: That's not five; the other player team's fifth had to be either Karl Malone, John Stockton or Christian Laettner. There's also a chance Jordan is misremembering a bit, and he's talking about this scrimmage covered in-depth by Sports Illustrated, which featured a Jordan-Malone-Ewing-Pippen-Bird five against Magic, Barkley, Robinson, Mullin and Laettner (although a 40-36 final score in favor of Jordan's team hardly constitutes a "killing.")


If I had the chance to go one-on-one with Steph Curry or LeBron, which one would I choose to go one-on-one with?

"Right now, or when I was in my prime? Right now? Buddy, I couldn't beat -- well, I'd go against [Stephen] Curry because I'm a little bit bigger than him. So I could kind of back him in. But LeBron is a little bit too big."

[Note: Take that, 34 percent of America.]


If I had a chance to add another member to team Jordan, who would I hire?

"I'm a big fan of [Mike] Trout, the baseball player. I absolutely love him. I wish I could hire him. But he's Nike, so I can't steal Nike's guys."


This is the ESPN question. I know it's going to be all over ESPN. [Note: He was right.] If I was in my prime, could I beat LeBron in a one-on-one game?

[Long pause in which the campers mutter/shout their opinions.]

No question!

[Huge applause.]


What did I see in Kwame Brown when I drafted him [No. 1 overall for the Washington Wizards in 2001]?

"I, along with everybody that was in that draft room, wanted Kwame Brown because of his athleticism, his size, his speed. He was still a young talent, 18-year-old, 19-year-old kid."


If you went back and you couldn't play basketball or baseball, what sport would you play?

"Great question. I went to college, I got my degree in cultural geography, and everybody wanted to know what is cultural geography? Well it's an introduction to meteorology. I always wanted to be the weather man. Don't laugh. But that's what I really wanted to do. So if I wasn't playing basketball or baseball, I was going to tell you what the weather was going to be like tomorrow."

[Note: Don't think meteorology is a sport? Tell that to Jim Cantore!]


What kind of advice would I give Kobe Bryant?

[Uncomfortable laughter in the crowd.]

"Actually, Kobe and I are good friends. I like Kobe, we talk a lot, I hope he comes back healthy. I think he's one of the great players of the game, I think he's done a lot for the game, and he has a true love for the game of basketball. I absolutely have high regard for Kobe Bryant.

"Even though he stole all my moves, but that's OK. I still love him like a brother."

H/T Bay Area HQ and For The Win

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If you have been following the saga of Swaggy P (Nick Young), then you know about one of his most important rules to Swaggdom:

Yeah, that rule.

So you can imagine our dismay when rumors began running rampant with talk of fresh ink on his right arm. Then our shock grew when the official Drew League Instagram page confirmed the murmurings:

Even Swaggy P himself posted a picture revealing the unmistakable face of the late hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur on his right forearm:

Let's get ready @drewleague tomorrow #LookAtBigMeatStomachTho

A photo posted by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on

While this is an incredibly "swaggy" and justified choice of ink, it does not change the fact that Young broke his own clearly stated rule. Which leads us to ask the burning questions:

Is Nick Young still Swaggy P?

Will he still be able to get buckets?

Has Iggy changed him?

Will he have Tupac's face covered with Biggie's if he gets traded to the East Coast?

Is this bold move prompted by the Lakers' 21-61 record last season?

While only time will tell, it seems that his new tattoo could be for the best as the most recent Drew League Player of the Week is indeed getting buckets. Proof:

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