WASHINGTON - It's LeBron James' world and we're all just living in it, according to President Obama, who honored the NBA champion Miami Heat today at the White House.
"I am honored to welcome a little up-and-coming basketball team to the White House," Obama joked as he stood with the players before a packed audience in the East Room of the White House.
"This team traveled a long road to get to where they are. In 2011, the Heat got all the way to the finals only to come up short. But when you fall, the real test is whether you can ignore the naysayers, pick yourself up and come back stronger. And that's true in basketball, but it's also true in life. That's exactly what these guys did," he said.
Obama singled out several of the team's star players, including James.
"We saw him pull off one of the greatest performances in basketball playoff history," he said of his performance during Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals. James scored 45 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out five assists to lead the Heat to a 98-79 victory in a game in which they were facing elimination.
Calling Dwyane Wade the "heart and soul of this team," Obama said he was committed to doing whatever it took to win.
"And at the post-game press conferences, he dressed well enough to land himself in GQ magazine," he said to laughter. "Show them your kicks here, Dwyane."
At one point, James interjected and asked if he could say something.
"You can if you want. It's your world, man," Obama said.
"On behalf of myself and my teammates, we just want to thank you … for the hospitality, for allowing us to be, I mean, in the White House. I mean, we're in the White House," James said with excitement. "We're kids from Chicago and Dallas, Texas and Michigan and Ohio and South Dakota and Miami. And we're in the White House right now.
"Hey, Mama, I made it!" he exclaimed.