WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – It’s been almost seven months in the making, but Tuesday the Miami Heat were once again honored by President Barack Obama at the White House for winning a second-straight NBA championship.
“We’ve got some outstanding members of Congress who are big fans of the Heat,” President Obama said. “They’re from both parties — because we all know nothing brings people together like the Miami Heat. (Laughter) Across the NBA there’s just a unifying (laughter) sense about the Heat.
Obama had a lot of fun with the Heat as he honored the team for winning back-to-back championships. At one point, Obama talked of the Heat winning 66 games and the team’s 27 game winning streak last year which Obama said was “almost as impressive as the Bulls’ 72-win season.”
(Obama is a long-time fan of the Bulls)
Obama recounted the playoff run for the Heat including the infamous Game 6 against the San Antonio Spurs.
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“As you will recall, Miami was down five points, less than 30 seconds to go. The last 122 times that happened in the playoffs, the team that was down lost 122 times,” Obama recounted. “And then they brought out the ropes (to keep the crowd off the court.)”
Obama continued, “And then Ray Allen saw them bring out the ropes and with five seconds left, Chris Bosh gets an incredible offensive rebound, passes it out to Ray; Ray is backing up, he’s got to jump forward; hits one of the most iconic shots of all time…and then he added a few choice words about the ropes, which we cannot (laughter) which we cannot repeat here.”
Obama then asked Allen, “Ray, I do want you to know that when you say those things on the court, like, people can read your lips right? You do understand that?” The comment was met with lots of laughter throughout the room at the White House.
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra gave Obama a replica Larry O’Brien trophy painted in black that was signed by the entire team and included the President’s name on it. Just before the presentation, Obama had a few more one-liners for the Heat.
“We wish them great luck for the rest of the season, unless they’re playing the Bulls,” Obama said. “And with that, I think that we should take a picture, but we should make it quick before one of these guys starts yelling at Mario (Chalmers). I mean, sometimes it’s just a bad pass guys. It’s not Mario’s fault. I got your back man (pointing at Chalmers).”
Coach Spoelstra, who was joined onstage by team president Pat Riley, was told by the President that he was beginning to be won over by the Heat to which Spoelstra replied, “We promise we’ll put together another one for you and let you mark it this year.”