How one Instagrammer is going viral with some incredible Lonzo Ball and LeBron James impressions

Jack Baer
Yahoo Sports Contributor
Just a hand on a hip is enough to find humor in Lonzo Ball. And, of course, his shot. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

When it comes to Lonzo Ball, or LeBron James, or nearly any other player in the NBA, there are so many things they do on the court that some fans don’t even process while watching, even when they’re just running across halfcourt.

One Instagrammer, @maxisnicee has made his name on learning how to embody those small things, as well as some of the bigger stories in the league.

The Russian-born Los Angeles native has gone viral repeatedly over the last year by imitating the silliest habits, gaits and shooting motions of some of the league’s biggest stars.

Speaking with Yahoo Sports, @maxisnicee said that he began imitating players while messing around on the court and he eventually started posting the highlights on Instagram. Clearly, there was a market for such humor, as his follower count has reached 344,000. He estimated he was at only 20,000 at the beginning of the year.

[There’s] just so much funny things that these NBA players do,” he said. “So when I watch it, and I’ll be on the court messing around, I’ll just tell my friend ‘Yo, watch this move. Who’s this.”

Maxisnicee said that he began doing the videos after an MCL injury prematurely ended his community college career. His first was a simple imitation of Lonzo Ball’s pigeon-toed walk, but his first truly viral video was one of the younger LaMelo Ball on the court.

That presence has since expanded to the point that the user is regularly collaborating with names like Famous Los and Filay, users with follower counts north of a million, and even meeting some of the subjects of his parodies. A high point was when Dwyane Wade himself commented on one of the videos with laughing emojis.

When asked what was behind his success, Maxisnicee kept it simple: stick to basketball, or whatever works for you:

“My advice is it’s all about consistency,” he said. “When somebody tells me ’How do you get followers?’ I say ‘Your Instagram is your resume, so you’ve got to find out your content and you’be got to keep posting that same content. I tell them ‘Don’t be all over the place, post baseball and post soccer. Stick to what people want to come to your page to see.’ People want to come my page, they want to see basketball stuff. People don’t want to come to my page and see me fighting people. They can go to the UFC page for that.”

He also threw out an interesting benchmark for true success:

“If you can be funny without cursing, then you’ve made it.“

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