Video: President Barack Obama welcomes Heat, praises Ray Allen, kids Mario Chalmers
United States President Barack Obama welcomed the Miami Heat to the White House to honor their 2013 NBA championship on Tuesday.
The presidential visit marked the second in a row for Miami, who met with Obama to celebrate their 2012 title last year.
Obama delivered a speech that lasted for more than seven minutes and included a number of one-liners at the expense of various Heat players. As always, the former Illinois Senator got in a few lines about his beloved Bulls, too.
“Outstanding athletes, outstanding organization, outstanding team, but also outstanding members of their community,” Obama said. “We’re very proud to have them back. We wish them great luck for the rest of the season, unless they’re playing the Bulls.”
The speech was peppered with quips, the best of which can be read below.
Obama on the Heat’s visit last year, in which LeBron James shouted, “Mama, I made it.”
“Usually people enjoy coming to the White House. I have to say, I’ve never seen folks more excited than the Heat when they came last year. I mean, LeBron [James] was so pumped up, I thought he was going to give me a hug and knock me over, like the guy on SportsCenter who hit the halfcourt shot.”
Obama on the polarizing nature of Miami’s success
“We’ve got some outstanding members of congress who are big fans of the Heat. They’re from both parties. Because we all know, nothing brings people together like the Miami Heat. Across the NBA, there’s just a unifying sense about the Heat.”
Obama on his bond with the Heat
“They’ve now won twice but they’ve gone to the Finals three times. Sometimes it feels like they’re still fighting for a little respect. I can relate to that.”
Obama on the 2013 Heat compared to the 1996 Bulls
“Last season, the Heat put together one of the most dominating regular seasons ever by a defending champion. They won a team record 66 games. At one point they won 27 games straight, the second-longest streak ever. Extraordinarily impressive — almost as impressive as the Bulls’ 72-win season.”
Obama on Miami’s comeback in Game 6 of the Finals against the Spurs
“San Antonio had the series all but wrapped up in Game 6. 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. And then they brought out the ropes. And then Ray Allen saw them bring out the ropes.
“With five seconds left, Chris Bosh gets an incredible offensive rebound, passes it out to Ray, he’s backing up, he has to jump forward, hits one of the most iconic shots of all time. Then he added a few choice words about the ropes, which we cannot repeat here. Ray — I do want you to know, when you say those things on the court, people can read your lips. You do understand that?”
Obama on the Heat’s favorite target of abuse, Mario Chalmers
“With that, I think we should take a picture. But we should make it quick before one of these guys starts yelling at Mario [Chalmers]. Sometimes it’s just a bad pass, guys, it’s not Mario’s fault. I’ve got your back, man.”
The Heat also presented Obama with a trophy and a personalized jersey as part of the ceremony.
Miami (27-10) will face Washington (17-19) at the Verizon Center on Wednesday night.