U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the 2012 NBA champion Miami Heat to the White House on Monday.
"Even though I'm a little disappointed that the (Chicago) Bulls didn't make it, I do want to congratulate the Heat on a championship," the president, an avid basketball player and fan, quipped during the ceremony in the East Room.
The Heat won their second title in franchise history with a four-games-to-one victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder last June in the NBA finals.
"For many teams to come here, this is a lot of cameras in one place," Obama said, referring to the crush of media. "This is a little overwhelming, but for the Heat, this is what practice looks like. This is normal."
Wade gave Obama - the 44th president - a Heat jersey emblazoned with his name and the number 44 and a ball signed by all the members of the championship squad.
James, the 28-year-old who was both the regular season and playoff MVP last year, seemed a little awed by the experience of being in the executive mansion.
"We're in the White House right now, which is like, like 'mama I made it,'" he said after noting that the Heat squad includes players from states such as Michigan, Alaska, South Dakota and his own native Ohio. EFE