Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Arnold Palmer, LeBron James, and the one true king

Curator’s note: Arnie Palmer questions Lebron James about his "king" status.  The most kingly quality: having a drink named after you.


Mr. Arnold Palmer
Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Orlando, FL

June 13, 2011

Lebron James
Hiding out
Miami, FL

Dear LeBron,

I don't follow basketball much, but I did catch Game 6 of the N.B.A finals, where you and Dwayne Wade capitulated to a bunch of geriatrics in long shorts.  Jason Kidd is almost older than me!

During the telecast I heard a broadcaster refer to you as the King.  I thought that was my nickname.  Before I let you share it, please review the following Top 10 King Qualities - and then provide performance evidence from your career to support each quality.

Top 10 King Qualities

#1 - Commands the respect of his army.  In my playing days I garnered more respect from my army than Robert E. Lee.  You, however, don't even enjoy the respect of your hometown Miami fans.  You're like the Al Gore of pro basketball.  In Cleveland fans burned so many LeBron jerseys the city had to issue wildfire warnings.  Today Ohio Governor John Kasich issued a proclamation declaring the Dallas Mavericks "honorary Ohioans."  Not good.

#2 - Doesn't shy away from responsibility.  My army demanded boldness from me.  They expected I hit driver on short par 4s, that I make charges on the back nine, and that I win majors in dramatic fashion.  I embraced their expectations.  Your subjects begged you to shoot the ball more in the finals - to be more productive in the fourth quarter.  Your response: keep on passing the rock, keep on pushing responsibility for success onto your teammates.  Lame.  I never had my caddy strike a putt to win a major.

#3 - Is a proven winner.  I won 62 times on the PGA Tour, including seven majors.  Those are Big League, Hall of Fame, King-like numbers.  You?

#4 - Walks the walk.  I hitched up my pants and stalked around the course like a lion chasing an antelope.  I also had a bad ass crouched putting stance that showed I meant business.  My demeanor demanded attention.  You seem to sulk quite a bit and have lots of tattoos.

The look of a King

#5 - Sticks appropriate things in his mouth.  Royalty chews on royal things, like cigars and cigarettes and caviar.  Nicklaus knew that if he got too close I'd burn his retina with a cigarette bud.  You chomp on a mouth guard like it's a piece of Big League Chew.  Too often it dangles from your mouth like a fish hook. 

#6 - Has a drink named after him.  The Arnold Palmer, half lemonade, half iced tea, to be drank after a hard-fought battle.  Even got an ESPN commercial of it.  You?

#7 - Doesn't get benched in crunch time.  Team play in professional golf is The Ryder Cup.  Last time I checked I hold the record for most matches won by a U.S. player.  You think the captain ever left me in the clubhouse?  You, however, were so deep in Erik Spoelstra's doghouse last night you barely saw action in the fourth quarter.  When you finally got in you almost broke the backboard - and not with a dunk.

#8 - Shows true enthusiasm for his position.  I relished being a King.  I embraced my people with smiles and handshakes and genuine respect for the position of being a leader and a role model.  Ever since leaving Cleveland you seem to hate what you do.  You've looked ridiculous in Heat promotional commercials, and I could've sworn you would've rather being playing golf than basketball last night.

#9 - Shows humility.  Being a great leader means admitting when you've made a mistake.  I was never a perfect golfer - in fact, I went out of my way not to be perfect (like Phil Mickelson) - and my Army loved me for it.  No one wants an infallable King (how can the average man relate to someone who's perfect?).  You, however, can't seem to accept your shortcomings, can't seem to understand why you've been vilified.  It's going to eat away at you until there's nothing left to guard but your mouth guard.

#10 - Doesn't share power.  Jack may have surpassed me on the golf course, but I never deferred to him, and he never commanded the admiration I did.  Arnie's Army would have stomped Jack's Pack and buried them in a bunker.  You were the leading man in Cleveland; now you're just a sidekick to Dwayne Wade, Robin to Batman, Andy Richter to Conan, Silent Bob to Jay, Woodstock to Snoopy, Ethel to Lucy, Sam to Frodo, Scottie Pippen to Michael Jordan, Tattoo to Mr. Roark.

By the way, who has more tattoos, you or Dwayne?

Look forward to hearing back from you.

Warmest regards,

Arnold Palmer

The Man.  The Drink.  The King.


LeBron James
Hiding out
Miami, FL

June 14, 2011

Mr. Arnold Palmer
Bay Hill Club and Lodge
Orlando, FL

Dear Mr. Palmer,

#1 - Who's Al Gore?

#2 - I thought triple doubles were more important than winning.

#3 - I won a few high school championships.  That's pretty good, right?

#4 - Don't my tats make me look tough?

#5 - I soaked my mouth guard in A.H. Hirsch Reserve bourbon before each game of the finals.  No wonder I couldn't shoot.

"Mom always said, 'Always eat your plastic'"

#6 - I melt my mouth guard down after each game and drink it.  The LeBron Slobber Slushie will be on the market soon.

#7 -  Erick Dampier and I were finishing best of 40 thumb wrestling.

#8 - Smiling, and hand holding for that matter, is for guys like Leandro Barbosa and Reggie Evans.

#9 - Wasn't The Decision humble?

#10 - I'm actually third on the totem pole behind Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.  That makes me Ron to Hermoine and Harry Potter, or Donny to Walter and the "Dude."


LeBron James



No comments:

Post a Comment