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Ernie Johnson does awesome Shaq impression (Video)

There are plenty of things we already knew about Ernie Johnson. Like, for example, that the guy is one of the smoothest broadcasters in all of sports. What you may not have known about Ernie is that he does an absolutely incredible Shaquille O’Neal impression.

During a recent event where he was promoting the NBA2K15 video game, which will feature the “Inside the NBA” studio, Johnson broke out a brief but amazing impression of his colleague.

“I’m the most dominant big man in the history of the NBA,” Johnson muttered in a perfect Shaq voice. “Nobody can guard me…”

[Related: Shaq stuffs sock in his shorts, rubs it on Charles Barkley]

The best part about the impersonation is that Ernie did it in passing like it was no big deal, despite the fact that it could have rivaled the work of any standup comedian. Never change, Ernie.

Ernie Johnson handshake

Kyrie Irving admits he has not been a leader

Kyrie IrvingKyrie Irving is only 22 and has played just three seasons in the NBA, but it’s hard to remember that when it comes to our quick-to-judge sports culture. Irving has been viewed as the franchise cornerstone for the Cleveland Cavaliers and, as a former No. 1 overall pick and point guard, he’s expected to lead.

But Irving admits he has not been a leader thus far.

“I haven’t been a leader – not at all,” Irving told RealGM’s Shams Charania.

Irving expressed one of the issues that plagues young teams — there aren’t proper examples set for the young players.

“Everybody asks me if this is my year to be a leader … I haven’t been so far though, not at all,” Irving told RealGM. “I’ve just been a kid trying to figure it out. There’s no perfect way to be a leader, and coming in as a 19-year-old kid and having everything bearing on your shoulders, there are a lot of ups and downs. Now it’s about being the best every single day and not being afraid.”

For the first time since Irving has been there, the Cavaliers will be full of veteran leaders who have won. LeBron James, Mike Miller, Shawn Marion and James Jones are some of the players who will bring experience to the team. Irving is looking forward to playing with them and learning from them.

“I’m more than excited with our new veterans. I’m really excited just from the standpoint of how the locker room is going to go and how to really be a professional. I’m not saying that the veterans that we had weren’t professionals themselves, but we didn’t have enough. Given the right and wrong things to do in the league, I’ve had to learn on my own and that’s what some of us been doing.”

Some players are natural leaders, while others develop into them. It sounds like Irving needs to learn how to lead if he’s going to become a leader. For now, being a key supplemental player may be great for his development.

Chest bump to Ball Don’t Lie

Joel Embiid sends great tweet about naked selfies from girls

Joel Embiid draft

Joel Embiid has plenty of time on his hands as he recovers from foot surgery, and the guy has been making great use of it.

Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick of the Philadelphia 76ers in the draft (they have a thing for injured players), has been asserting himself as one of the best athletes on social media. He sent this gem on Tuesday night:

Shortly after sending that beaut, Embiid announced he would be taking a break from Twitter.

That’s how it goes for him — he pushes the limits of social acceptability, gets some negative feedback, and takes a mini break. But he always returns with better jokes than the last time. He’s like a young Gilbert Arenas, hopefully without the golden gun incident.

Oh, and that is exactly the reaction we have when receiving an unexpected nudie pic.

Also see: Joel Embiid’s date with Rihanna looked like fun

Jim Boeheim: Carmelo Anthony would have been better off with Bulls

jim-boeheimJim Boeheim believes Carmelo Anthony would have been better off signing with the Chicago Bulls than remaining with the New York Knicks — at least from a basketball standpoint.

Boeheim, who coached Anthony on Syracuse’s 2003 NCAA national championship team, basically said Monday that he thinks Carmelo would have a better chance of winning in Chicago.

“Just from a basketball point of view it would have been better to go to Chicago because they’ve got better players,” Boeheim told Ian Begley of ESPNewYork.com. “But he wanted to be in New York and he wants to see if they can turn it around there. I think that’s a great thing.”

Anthony’s decision probably had a lot to do with the $50 million more the Knicks were able to offer him. I don’t care who you are or how much money you have made — turning down that kind of sum is extremely difficult. Plus, New York brightened its future by hiring Phil Jackson as head of its basketball operations department. If not for that move, Boeheim believes ‘Melo would have moved on.

[Related: Jim Boeheim told Carmelo Anthony not to be afraid to leave New York]

“He stayed because he believes Phil,” he said. “Derek Fisher, he knows the game. If you’re going to pick a coach who hasn’t coached, he would be the guy I would pick. I think he’s a great choice. I talked to Derek a little bit. I think he’s really smart. I think he’ll be a really good coach. I think they’ll show significant improvement this year. If they get a couple of guys down the road, I think they’ll be good.”

Carmelo is banking on significant improvement. Last season was the first time in his 11-year NBA career that Anthony did not play in a postseason game. He said earlier this week that he is certain the Knicks will not miss the playoffs again.

“Yeah, I think so for sure,” Anthony said when asked if New York will make the postseason, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post. “Absolutely.”

With Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and a healthy Derrick Rose, it would be surprising if the Bulls aren’t better than the Knicks next season. Boeheim certainly isn’t the only person who sees that.

Chandler Parsons broke up with girlfriend Robyn Crowley

Chandler Parsons Robyn Crowley

Chandler Parsons and Robyn Crowley are no longer dating. The Dallas Mavericks forward had dated Crowley for quite some time (see: Parsons birthday pictures), but there have been several indications recently that Parsons is single. He confirmed his relationship status during an entertaining interview Chelsea Handler last week.

“I do not have a girlfriend,” Parsons said.

While that means Parsons is no longer going out with Crowley, it also means he is not dating 18-year-old Kendall Jenner. The two were spotted having dinner together recently, but Parsons said it was a group activity and not a date.

“It’s kind of a long story. I train with Gunnar Peterson here in L.A. She works out before me, so I kind of just got to know her, and then we had dinner,” he explained. “And the next thing I know I was on TMZ. It was more of a group activity.”

Parsons was also exposed earlier this week by a wanna-be social media model who decided to go public with some direct messages she exchanged with the 25-year-old at the end of June. She claims to have a reason for calling out Parsons and said she would reveal it if she got 500 retweets. However, the young lady’s Twitter account has been suspended. You can see more pictures of her here.

In any event, we now understand why Parsons appears to be playing the field.

Kobe Bryant takes over 1995 high school playoff game (Video)

Kobe-Bryant-high-schoolAny NBA fan has seen highlights of Kobe Bryant taking over a game. The five-time NBA champion scored 81 points in a single game once, and he has scored 50 or more in a game 25 times in his career. But have you ever seen Kobe dominate in high school? We have you covered.

In 1995, Kobe put Lower Merion High School on his back during a state tournament game against Norristown. Bryant, who wore No. 33 as a teenager, knocked down three 3-pointers in the third quarter and rallied his team back to tie the game heading into the fourth. He then completely took over.

Kobe hit shots from inside the paint and beyond the arc en route to 18 points in the fourth quarter alone. He finished with 35 points (just 6 in the first half) and 12 rebounds to send Lower Merion to the semifinals.

“We came out in the second half and were like, ‘This is our half. We’re not gonna lose this,'” a young Kobe said after the win. “I sort of felt a personal challenge because I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself … There was no way I was going down without a fight. I put my best on the floor.”

Different year, same Kobe.

Derrick Rose wants to become better leader

Derrick RoseDerrick Rose has a lot of obstacles to overcome as he returns from multiple knee injuries/surgeries that have limited him over the past three seasons. Rose says he “has no fears” when it comes to his knee injuries, and Team USA personnel such as Coach K and Tom Thibodeau have praised his game.

Rose may be returning to form physically and unconcerned about that part of his game, but there is one area he’d like to improve.

“Right now, that mental part is my part of the game that I’m missing. That leadership being on the court, getting guys together, just knowing that it’s us against everyone when we’re on the floor,” Rose said Friday in Chicago where he was practicing with Team USA ahead of a game against Brazil via ESPN Chicago.

“For me, this is my chance to actually become a better leader. Being more vocal in the locker room. Being more vocal on the floor. [Saturday] starts all that. It’s a huge journey for me. I’m not trying to shy away from it. I think it’s going to help me with the Bulls next season, and it’s going to help me have a better relationship with my teammates. Because I always have a good relationship, but being vocal and always talking to them I think it should be even better so I’m excited about it.”

This is noteworthy because Rose has always come across as a lead by example type of player. He’s not the kind of guy who will get involved in actively recruiting players to join the Bulls, which is something you’d expect out of a team leader. He still might not do that, but at least he wants to work on his leadership going forward. That can help make him a better overall player and make his teams even more difficult.