August 24, 2016 | 79° | Check Traffic

Sports| Top News

Obama honors Miami Heat for 2nd straight NBA title

  • ASSOCIATED PRESSPresident Barack Obama is given a basketball and jersey by Miami Heat players Ray Allen, left, and Chris Bosh, second from left, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, where the president honored the 2013 NBA Champion basketball team . Behind them are Miami Heat forwards LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, upper left, team president Pat Riley is at center, and Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is next to Riley. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    President Barack Obama is given a basketball and jersey by Miami Heat players Ray Allen, left, and Chris Bosh, second from left, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, where the president honored the 2013 NBA Champion basketball team . Behind them are Miami Heat forwards LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade, upper left, team president Pat Riley is at center, and Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra is next to Riley. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON >> For President Barack Obama, seeing the Miami Heat at the White House on Tuesday was like deja vu.

A year after congratulating LeBron James and company on winning their second league title, there was Obama doing it again. And so soon.

James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, their teammates and coaches, earned another White House visit by following that win with another. Last year, they topped the San Antonio Spurs in a championship series that went the full seven games. A big basketball fan and recreational player, Obama described in detail how the Heat rallied to win Game 6 before clinching in the seventh.

“This group has now won twice but it’s gone to the finals three times and, sometimes, it feels like they’re still fighting for a little respect,” Obama said, adding: “I can relate to that.”

During an East Room ceremony, Obama also praised the team’s off-court actions. Obama said the players visited wounded service members recuperating at an area military hospital before they came to the White House. He said it’s an example of the charitable work Heat players do year-round, including raising nearly $2 million for charities at home.

“So bottom line is: outstanding athletes, outstanding organization, outstanding team but also outstanding members of their community,” Obama said.

He wished them “great luck” for the rest of the current season, “unless they’re playing the (Chicago) Bulls,” Obama’s hometown and favorite NBA team.

Coach Erik Spoelstra presented Obama with a commemorative championship trophy that lists the players’ names as well as Obama’s. The president also received an autographed basketball and team jersey with the number “44” and “POTUS” on the back. Obama is the 44th president and “POTUS” is an abbreviation for “president of the United States.”

“This is a great honor for the entire Miami Heat family. It does not get old,” Spoelstra said.

The Heat weren’t leaving Washington right away. After back-to-back losses, the team will shoot for a win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

No comments
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.