For the second straight year, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Miami Heat were given a presidential welcome.
A visit to the White House is reserved for all of the country’s professional teams that dominate their way to the championship in their respective sport. The Miami Heat bested the Oklahoma Thunder in 2012 and the San Antonio Spurs in 2013 and today, January 14, President Barack Obama invited them into his legendary residence.
Of course, seeing that president is old enough to get elected and young enough to be hip, it didn’t come without a bit of ribbing towards the players, namely Mario Chalmers.
“I think we should take a picture, but we should make it quick before one of these guys starts yelling at Mario,” the president joked. “I mean sometimes, it’s just a bad pass, guys. It’s not Mario’s fault. I got your back, man,” he said with his trademarked grin.
Chalmers is infamous for refusing to give into his superstar teammates’ every whims, often resulting in heated arguments captured on live television. Their chemistry still manages to get them clutch situations, like Game 6 of the aforementioned 2013 NBA Finals where they came back from a five-point deficit with 0:28 left in the contest to win.
The defending champs appreciated their second invitation and brought gifts to show their gratitude. They bestowed the Commander-in-Chief with a black Larry O’Brien trophy with all the player’s names on it, an autographed basketball and his own personalized Heat jersey with “POTUS” embroidered on the back.
Dwyane Wade told the team’s reporters, “Whenever you go to the White House, it’s special. I don’t care how many times you’ve been. It’s an unbelievable moment & great honor.”
Well said. Slide on through the picture gallery to see the Heat players looking dapper and joking around with the president for a twice-in-a-lifetime experience.