LeBron: I double-dog-dare you to a game of HORSE

No, I triple-dog-dare you.

Jim Nolan
3 min readMay 31, 2023
Photo by Isabella Bannerman

Now that the Los Angeles Lakers are out of the NBA playoffs, basketball great LeBron James is probably at a loss for what to do. I submit he play me in a game of HORSE, my backyard. To be frank, he doesn’t stand a chance.

Yes, LeBron’s a four-time NBA championship winner, with four MVP awards, four finals MVP awards and two Olympic Gold Medals, but don’t underestimate me. I have several trick shots he’s not prepared for and will have a hard time making. For example, I stand right under the net, and with my right hand, throw the ball up against the backboard, where it often ricochets into the basket. Good luck with that, LeBron. He’s got an “H” right there.

Also, there is a big rock on the slope next to the basket that I stand on and shoot from. They don’t have rocks in the NBA. HO, LeBron.

Another thing they don’t have in the NBA: my kind of trash talk. “Hey LBJ, your sneaker’s untied.” The Chosen One looks down at his Nike Zoom LeBron 2s. Gotcha! I’m toying with his confidence, now he’s unsure of himself, he’s thinking, “what have I gotten myself into?” HOR.

Now look, he is LeBron James and I am just Jim, so I would like to set a few reasonable caveats. First of all, no dunking. This is really for both our benefits. His legs have to be a little sore after an 82-game season, and my left knee is feeling a little tweaky lately from the exercycle. Just so you know, I can dunk, but I have to lower the rim to six feet and use our little trampoline.

Also, I would like to declare the three-point range to be out of bounds. It’s a small backyard, and besides, that’s a long way for me to hoist the ball, I might pull something.

At this point, he’s got HOR and I’m feeling a little cocky. Maybe a little too much like Dillon Brooks, a Memphis Grizzlies player who, after a playoff win, told reporters that LeBron was “old.” This did not work out well for Brooks or the Grizzlies. He should have tried the shoelace trick instead.

Now, I’m not saying I’m definitely going to win. LeBron has, after all, amassed 38,652 points, more than any other NBA player in history. But, Las Vegas oddsmakers aside, I believe I have some chance of pulling this off. It’s my home, my rim, my ball. And if I lose, I will hold my head up high. He is LeBron James.

And if he beats me, what a glorious capstone to his career it would be. There would be nothing left for LeBron to accomplish, he could retire knowing that.

Even so, I’m calling best two-out-of-three.



Jim Nolan

Jim’s humor writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Funny Times, HumorOutcasts.com, McSweeneys Internet Tendency, and on WBFO public radio.