Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather stopped by the Miami Heat practice facility today to deliver a message to the team before they embark on their odyssey to win a third straight NBA Championship. LeBron James — no stranger to celebrity — was actually excited just to be in the undefeated boxer’s presence.
The notoriously fickle Heat president Pat Riley normally doesn’t let anyone attend practice, celebrity or not, but he made an exception for the undefeated Mayweather, ESPN’s Michael Wallace reports. Riley is a big boxing fan from before his championship-laden NBA career as a player and coach.
Even a superstar as famous as LeBron James was impressed:
“With him being 17 years-and-0 — we’re trying to defend two titles — he’s been defending for a long time,” James said. “He definitely knows where we’re coming from. It’s definitely exciting to have someone, one of the greatest of all time, to be in your presence. It’s something you can talk about years from now when you look back on the history of sports. That guy was at our practice.”
Dwyane Wade — another man that’s used to celebrity and a Heat player his entire 11-year career — doesn’t remember ever seeing someone like Mayweather at a practice. But like James, Wade was effusive with praise:
“From one champion to another, he just talked about being proud of us and how we handled ourselves,” Wade said. “He knows, as a champion, how hard it is to go out there and compete when people try to take you down, take what you work for. He kept telling us how proud he is of us. If you got up today and you were a little tired, you walk in and see the champ, you work a little harder.”
Big Money Mayweather is a big fan of the Heat, too. Who can forget his multimillion dollar bet on them to win game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals against the Spurs.
Currently, Mayweather is 45-0 for his career with titles in 5 different weight classes. But Heat coach Erik Spoelstra — of Filipino descent — is a Manny Pacquiao fan and deferred any questions about Mayweather’s visit to his team.
“I thought about messing with [Spoelstra] just a little bit,” Heat center Chris Bosh said. “We always try to give Spo a tough time when anybody from the Philippines goes down. That’s no disrespect to Pacquiao. He’s one of the greatest to ever do it. But we had the undefeated champ here. It was fantastic just to be full of that energy and be in that aura and just soak up whatever he had to say.”
What do you think of Floyd’s practice visit with the Heat?
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