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  • Everybody, please have a seat. Have a seat.

  • Welcome to the White House.

  • Actually, for these guys, it is welcome back to the White House -- (applause)

  • -- after being back-to-back world champions, the Miami Heat.

  • Now, one of the cool things about this job

  • is welcoming championship sports teams from across the sporting world to the White House.

  • And 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. (Laughter.)

  • I mean, LeBron was so pumped up I thought he was going to give me a hug

  • and knock me over like the guy in the SportsCenter who hit the half-court shot.

  • But it was wonderful to see them then.

  • It is wonderful to see them back.

  • Weve got some outstanding members of Congress who are big fans of the Heat.

  • Theyre from both parties -- because we all know nothing brings people together like the Miami Heat.

  • (Laughter and applause)

  • Across the NBA there’s just a unifying -- (laughter) -- sense about the Heat.

  • I want to congratulate Coach Spoelstra for the outstanding work that he does;

  • legendary team president, Pat Riley, for his outstanding leadership;

  • and all the coaches and players,

  • members of the staff and crew to make a championship season.

  • This group has now won twice, but it’s gone to the finals three times.

  • And sometimes it feels like theyre still fighting for a little respect.

  • I can relate to that. (Laughter.)

  • 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 winning streak ever, extraordinarily impressive

  • -- almost as impressive as the Bulls’ 72-win season.

  • (Laughter)

  • Riley and I were reminiscing about those Knicks years. (Laughter.)

  • But as these guys know, winning a title is never easy.

  • In the playoffs, the Pacers put them through seven bruising games.

  • In the finals, the Spurs showed us all that theyve got an awful lot of life left in them,

  • and one of the greatest players of all time,

  • and one of the greatest coaches of all time,

  • In fact, San Antonio had the series all but wrapped up in game six.

  • 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. (Laughter)

  • 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.

  • But, Ray, I do want you to know that when you say those things on the court,

  • like, people can read your lips, right? (Laughter)

  • You do understand that?

  • Ray:Yeah. President Obama:Okay. All right.

  • So the Heat won game six, went on to win game seven,

  • their third title in eight seasons.

  • LeBron James earned his second straight Finals MVP

  • to go along with four regular-season MVPs in five years.

  • Dwayne Wade, warrior that he is, played through a pair of injured knees,

  • always came through when it mattered.

  • Chris Bosh was there playing great defence,

  • getting the rebound, hitting a clutch shot.

  • Everybody on this team participated.

  • And from Ray’s big shot to the contributions of Mario Chalmers, Shane Battier,

  • Udonis Haslem, Birdman, Birdman’s tattoos -- (laughter)

  • Birdman’s mohawk -- (laughter) -- the Heat showed us the kind of heart

  • and determination it takes to be a champion.

  • And they also showed what heart means off the court.

  • Last year, they raised close to $2 million for local charities.

  • Before this event, they met with some of our amazing wounded warriors over at Walter Reed,

  • and were proud to have some of those wounded warriors here in the audience here today.

  • Honoring our troops -- (applause) -- honoring our troops isn’t just something

  • that they do when they come to the White House

  • -- it’s something they do all year round with their Heat Home Strong initiative.

  • And Pat Riley I know has been hugely invested in this,

  • and we talked a little bit about this

  • -- his incredible admiration for our men and women in uniform,

  • but more concretely his willingness to do something about how we support them

  • I think is a credit to the entire organization.

  • On top of that, Coach Spoelstra serves as a member of the NBA Fit team

  • to encourage healthy habits among young people.

  • I know Michelle is thankful for the support that many of these players have given to her Let’s Move initiative.

  • I heard that all of you are getting ready to embarrass yourselves

  • by singing some karaoke for Shane’s education foundation. (Laughter and applause)

  • Just leave Al Green to the pros, people. (Laughter)

  • So bottom line is, outstanding athletes, outstanding organization,

  • outstanding team, but also outstanding members of their community.

  • And so were very proud to have them back.

  • We wish them great luck for the rest of the season, unless theyre playing the Bulls. (Laughter)

  • And with that, I think we should take a picture,

  • but we should make it quick before one of these guys starts yelling at Mario.

  • (Laughter and applause)

  • I mean, sometimes it’s just a bad pass, guys.

  • It’s not Mario’s fault. (Laughter) I got your back, man.

  • Well, this is a great honor for the entire Miami Heat family.

  • It does not get old.

  • And what this is, is we put this together before the playoff run last year,

  • and it was a covenant between all of us that we signed that we would commit to each other

  • -- all the way to the end.

  • This is outstanding.

  • So we have marks for each win, and it signified each player would mark the win for that game,

  • and the final one was the team one.

  • So this one right here, you can see “44” and your name right there.

  • There you go. It was added to it.

  • You know, you guys are winning me over a little bit. (Laughter)

  • Getting there. Getting there.

  • We promise well put together another one for you and let you mark it this year. (Laughter)

  • Congratulations. (Applause)

Everybody, please have a seat. Have a seat.

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President Obama Honors the 2013 NBA Champion Miami Heat

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    Go Tutor   に公開 2014 年 02 月 19 日
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