Miami Heat Big Three Eat Salads; Mickey Mantle Turns in Grave

Miami Heat Big Three

Miami Heat Big Three Veg Out

Actual News Item: The Miami Heat Big Three, LeBron James, Dwywane Wade, and Chris Bosh, were spotted EATING SALADS at the Soho Beach House Wednesday, presumably discussing whether to take pay cuts in order to remain the key ingredients of the NBA franchise.

The Soho Beach House is a fancy oceanfront hotel/club/spa a few blocks south of the Fontainebleau, but that’s besides the point. It’s the “EATING SALADS” that drew my attention and reminded me of this event, which  may or may not have happened.

The Miami Heat Big Three don't eat here
Mickey Mantle, his wife Merlyn, and Toots Shor

Miami Heat Big Three Do Not Eat Here


Three New York Yankees — Mickey Mantle, Billy Martin, and Yogi Berra — sit down for lunch.

“What do you want to eat, Billy?” Mantle asks.

“I’m thinking about the kale salad with sliced pear and walnuts, balsamic vinaigrette on the side,” Martin says.

Mantle watches a waiter rush by, carrying a massive platter of calf’s liver covered in onions and surrounded by bacon. “What about you, Yogi?”

“Nuttin’ fancy,” Berra says. Maybe the arugula salad with walnuts. Hold the dressing.”

No Miami Heat Big Three here
Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin on their way to church.

“I’m thinking about sliced ahi,” Mickey says.

“Ain’t you heard about mercury poisoning?” Berra shoots back.

“Right.” Mantle goes back to studying the menu.

Toots Shor comes by the table with Jackie Gleason, who’s holding his usual glass of ginger ale. They slap the guys on the back, crack wise and move on, discussing the world situation, which is to say, how the New York Football Giants will do this Fall.

No Miami Heat Big Three at Toots
Toots Shor and Jackie Gleason enjoy their non-alcoholic beverages.

Mantle watches a diner at an adjacent table, wolfing down chopped hip sirloin covered in fried onion rings. “I think I’ll go for the mixed greens with extra frisee,” Mantle says, finally.

“Again!” Martin and Berra shout, in derision.

“With a pineapple mango smoothie, low-fat yogurt.”

Early the next morning, which is to say 10:30 a.m., Mantle awakens with start. “Jeez, hon, I had a terrible nightmare.”

“What about?” his wife, Merlyn, asks. “You sleeping here two nights in a row?”

“No, worse. What the hell is kale, anyway?”


Would Miami Heat Big Three Get a Table at Toots Shor’s?

While we await the Miami Heat Big Three decision — on their contracts, not lunch — let me pass on this great anecdote about Toots Shor, restauranteur and pal to celebrities and athletes.

Miami Heat Big Three don't eat here
Toots Shor served lots of things: kale salad was not among them.

One night, the MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer was unhappily standing in line for a table. Spotting Toots, Mayer says: “I hope the food is worth waiting for.” Replied Toots, “It’ll be better’n some of your crummy pictures I stood in line for.” Credit Wikipedia with the story. It’s too good not to be true.

(Paul Levine is the author of the Jake Lassiter and Solomon vs. Lord series. His most recent book is “State vs. Lassiter,” currently nominated for a 2014 Shamus Award).