Players for the Miami Heat took their basketball talents to the White House Tuesday to commemorate their 2013 NBA Championship with President Barack Obama.
“It’s a very special day,” head coach Eric Spoelstra told the Miami Herald ahead of the event. “You get to be a kid again. When you have an opportunity to visit the White House and spend some time with the president, when our families are so excited to go, you realize that most people never have this opportunity in their lifetime. It’s a continued celebration for what we accomplished last year.”
The visit is the second in two years for the Florida-based team.
“It was wonderful to see them then and it’s wonderful to see them back,” Obama said Tuesday.
The president joked that he can empathize with the Heat’s reputation in the league.
“Sometimes it feels like they’re still fighting for a little respect. I can relate to that.”
Before the event, star player LeBron James said even with the team’s accomplishments, they don’t match up to the importance of President Obama’s job.
“Because he doesn’t just have to worry about Americans…his finger, he presses the button on so many issues in the world – not just America. We know how many people we have in America. But how many people are in the world?” James told ESPN.
However, James said he knew what his first executive order would be if he were president.
“I’d give the Miami Heat a week off from playing basketball games.”
Some of the Heat players, their families and politicans were tweeting about the special occasion.