How LeBron James and other NBA stars would look on the golf course

James Harden – Maxim Peranidze – steps to the golf ball.

James Harden – Maxim Peranidze – steps to the golf ball.

He addresses the golf ball. 

Then steps back. And again. And again. He moves to his left, takes two large hops back to the ball, swings his golf club, connects and falls over backward. He sits up and pumps his fists.

James Harden made contact, and as the NBA star does on the basketball floor, drew contact.

NBA players play golf. NBA players do not play golf as they play basketball. 

Maxim Peranidze does. Very well. 

“If NBA Players Played Golf,” the NBA impressionist posted on social media this week with a 98-second video. 


First is the Los Angeles Lakers’ LeBron James. Lots of theatrics. Peranidze runs in from the right of the screen. He does a 180, takes an imaginary jump shot, starts walking back toward the right and blows on his hand before starting to pivot toward the golf ball. He tugs on his jersey a few times, blows on his hand again, tugs on his jersey a few more times, blows on his hand again. Peranidze sets up to the ball, swings, hits it, walks backward, blows on his hand after the stroke and eventually shuffles to the left. 

Next is this year’s No. 1 draft pick, the New Orleans Pelicans’ Zion Williamson. Lots of power. Peranidze does a pronounced walk-in from the left of the screen, slams the golf ball to the ground, continues to walk, does a 180 and walks back to the left, giving a thump of the chest along the way. Peranidze then pivots to stand next to the ball from a left-handed stance, swings, misses and releases the club into the air before running away. 

Third is the Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry. Lots of motion. Peranidze runs in from the left of the screen and runs past a person setting a basketball pick, stops, does a 180 and runs past the person again. Peranidze pivots as the other person runs to the far right of the screen, he runs toward the person again, circles him, runs to the ball, hits it and shimmies. 

The more demonstrative the impression, the better, said Peranidze, who also hit golf shots as the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo, the late Kobe Bryant, the Pelicans’ Lonzo Ball, Harden, the Boston Celtics’ Tacko Fall, the Rockets’ Russell Westbrook and the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic. 

“I don’t want to make players look bad,” he told The Athletic recently. “I just try to make it as funny as I can. But sometimes, making them look bad is the funny part.”      

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at