LeBron James celebrates the Miami Heat's NBA championship at the team's victory parade.
(Lynne Sladky / Associated Press / June 25, 2012)
The Miami Heat celebrated their second NBA championship in franchise history with a parade in downtown Miami followed by a celebration at AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday.
Each of the 15 Heat players were introduced one-by-one to an arena filled with screaming fans, loud music and flashy graphics.
“This is the best feeling I’ve ever had in my basketball career,” said LeBron James, who was named MVP of both the league and the NBA Finals. “This is my dream right here.”
When it was Dwyane Wade's turn to speak, he handed out fancy Hublot watches, which start at $10,000, to owner Micky Arison, Coach Erik Spoelstra and team executive Pat Riley.
Spoelstra had a message for the team's doubters.
“[The outside world] didn’t support this team. They counted this team out,” Spoelstra said. “But they never estimated how close this team was as a family.
“Today is about the fiesta,” he added. “Let’s show everybody how we do it.”
The last time that the Heat had a celebration at AmericanAirlines Arena was during the infamous welcoming party for James and Chris Bosh, during which James promised he'd bring the city multiple championships.
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