Hilariously Bad Athlete Impersonations
There is a reason these people opted to become athletes rather than, for instance, actors.
For sure, they get an A for effort. Impersonations aren't easy. Just ask Jay Pharoah.
But they don't necessarily get an A for accuracy. That's OK, though. These guys aren't auditioning for Lorne Michaels. They're just trying to get a couple of laughs.
In that regard, they definitely succeeded. Here are some of the most terrible, yet entertaining, instances of athletes impersonating their sports contemporaries.
J.P. Arencibia Does Tim Kurkjian
Tim Kurkjian has a very…particular way of speaking. Good for him, though—it's always nice to be unique.
Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia made a valiant attempt to impersonate the ESPN analyst, and adding to the pressure, he had to do it in front of Kurkjian himself. Fortunately, Kurkjian was a good sport about it.
Also, Arencibia did a pretty darn good job.
Dwight Howard Does Charles Barkley
Who knew? Dwight Howard is an impersonation aficionado. Maybe he should audition for SNL.
In the first of Howard's greatest hits, we see him do his best Charles Barkley. Shockingly, it's even better than Kenan's, and it's funnier.
The Rockets center gave it his best shot a couple of years ago, right about when his tenure with the Magic was falling apart. There's nothing that cuts the tension like a spot-on Chuck impression.
Novak Djokovic Does Everyone
As we all know, Novak Djokovic is rather infamous for his impressions. He will give anything a shot.
Djokovic has impersonated virtually every one of his tennis contemporaries over the course of his career, including Maria Sharapova, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick and Roger Federer.
The best, though, is definitely Sharapova, given the absurd degree to which he pulls up his shorts and his prancing around the court.
Baye Moussa Keita Does Jim Boeheim
Jim Boeheim is one of the most utterly imitable coaches in sports. He's like a caricature of himself.
From the faces he makes to the way he talks, Boeheim is always two things: Over the top and overly excitable.
Here, we have one of his players, Baye Moussa Keita, giving his best shot at making fun of his coach. It's not the greatest in terms of accuracy, but that makes it funnier. The facial expressions are where the center truly excels.
Tiger Woods Does Charles Barkley
Poor Charles Barkley. People just can't stop making fun of him.
This was filmed way back in 2007, when Tiger Woods still did things like this because people still liked him. The PGA superstar, promoting Tiger Wii, imitated Chuck's swing.
Oh, Tiger. Look at you. You used to be so funny.
Jonathan Papelbon Does Terry Francona
Well, look at Tim Kurkjian. He can fight back.
During Spring Training 2012, shortly after Toronto's J.P. Arencibia did a spot on impression of him at Terry Francona's urging, Kurkjian decided to strike back and ask Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon to do his best impression of Tito, his former manager.
The results were fantastic. The always-colorful Papelbon shoved about 90 pieces of gum in his mouth and rubbed his head like a crystal ball while begging for help from former coaches Brad Mills and DeMarlo Hale.
Aaron Rodgers Does Allen Iverson
This is one impression that is so terrible and awkward that it's actually hard to watch.
So for that, Aaron Rodgers, I congratulate you.
During the 2011 preseason, the Packers quarterback was asked to give the camera his best Allen Iverson. He responded by saying, in a monotone, "Practice? … We're talking about practice, right?" while the media scrum offered up a collective fake pity laugh.
Dwight Howard Does Stan Van Gundy
We return now to the greatest impersonator of them all.
We also return to the glory days of 2009, back when Dwight Howard was still a well-liked individual, back when he still wanted to be a part of the Orlando Magic, back when he and Stan Van Gundy had a good enough relationship so that when Dwight was asked to imitate his coach, he actually obliged.
And as always, Dwight delivered. Spot on. He really missed his calling.
Caroline Wozniacki Does Serena Williams
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, amirite?
No. Not if you ask Serena Williams.
Many were not amused when Caroline Wozniacki "imitated" the tennis goddess, which consisted of stuffing her clothes with extra padding in the front and in the back. Still, Serena took the high road, telling USA Today in an email, "I know Caro and I would call her my friend. And I don't think she [meant] anything racist by it."
Better luck next time, Caro.
Phil Coke Does Miguel Cabrera
Phil definitely gets an A for effort.
Prior to the start of the 2013 season, the Tigers hurler told a story about a conversation that transpired when Detroit's most feared hitter, Miguel Cabrera, asked Coke if he had faced him before.
The media was incredibly amused at his rather cartoonish Miggy impression (click here to see it). But none were more amused than Torii Hunter and Prince Fielder.
Chris Webber Does Kenny Smith
Chris Webber celebrated the kickoff of the 2013 NBA season in a very unique way: by giving the Chuck jokes a rest and, instead, imitating fellow TNT analyst Kenny Smith.
How did Kenny feel about taking some of the heat that is usually reserved for Charles Barkley? He took it like a champ.
Webber's imitation of the "Kenny run" is can't-miss footage. Poor Kenny.
Hunter Pence and Tim Lincecum Impersonate Each Other
Aw. What an adorable little bromance.
At the Giants' 2013 Fan Fest, pitcher Tim Lincecum and outfielder Hunter Pence were asked to do impressions of each other. At first, Lincecum declined, but once Pence obliged—well, Lincecum had to get in on it, too.
Pence imitated Lincecum's unique windup, and then Lincecum performed Pence's elaborate batter's box routine.
Derek Holland and Ryan Dempster Do Harry Caray
Harry Caray. So imitable.
There were no better players to try their hands at impersonating the legendary Cubs announcer than Derek Holland and Ryan Dempster. The pitchers had prior experience with the impression, but then they got together to perform simultaneously and it was like…minds melted.
Donning the necessary white wigs and thick-framed glasses, Dempster and Holland raved with completely over-the-top enthusiasm about anything not related to baseball.
Kevin Garnett Does Sam Cassell
Sam Cassell and Kevin Garnett have had a couple of stints together, one with the Timberwolves and one with the Celtics.
You would think, then, that Garnett would be well versed in the peculiar dialect of Cassell. Nope.
Shortly following Cassell's arrival in Boston during the 2007-08 season, Garnett revealed that whenever Cassell speaks to him on the bench, he generally has no idea what Cassell is saying because he talks at a rate of about 100 words per second.
Dwight Howard Does Kobe Bryant
It's only right that we end with the king impersonator.
We've seen Dwight Howard do his best Charles Barkley. We've seen him do his best Van Gundy. But truly, his best stuff is his impression is of his former teammate, Kobe Bryant.
It's probably not as funny now, in light of the implosion that was Howard's time in LA, but during happier times in the summer of 2012, Howard shed a little bit of light on the conversation he had with Kobe shortly after he announced he would be joining the Lakers. It basically included nothing except the words "you know."
It's official: The Rockets need to win a title and Howard needs to be MVP so that it warrants as gig as host of SNL. He needs to put these impersonations to good use.
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