The Miami Heat, led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, held off the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals to win their second straight championship. The focus will soon shift to a three-peat, but first it's time for Miami to celebrate the title.
James, Wade and Co. will enjoy a parade through downtown Miami starting at 11 a.m. ET on Monday, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. It will be followed by a celebration inside American Airlines Arena. A ticket will be require for that portion of the event.
Last year's parade was attended by an estimated 400,000 people. Now we'll find out if the crowd gets even bigger as the Heat took another major step toward the dynasty they predicted when they brought together the trio of stars a few summers ago.
The Heat celebrated the occasion by sending out a message about their latest trip down Biscayne Boulevard.
…and there will be another parade down beautiful Biscayne Boulevard! #HEATRepeat— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) June 21, 2013
Love them or hate them, it's impossible to say the Heat and their star-studded roster didn't earn the championship. They were pushed to the limit by both the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals and the Spurs in NBA Finals and still prevailed.
Furthermore, the Finals were a particularly tough test because the veteran-laden Spurs never backed down. They couldn't match Miami's talent level, but they forced the Heat to work for every basket. The defending champions rose to the occasion.
The parade serves as an opportunity to celebrate that accomplishment. The Heat played 105 games, including 14 over the past two series, to capture the Larry O'Brien Trophy. Now they get a moment in the spotlight to receive the praise of Miami for that effort.
Will the Heat three-peat next season?
A trip down Biscayne Boulevard is well-deserved recognition. It's also a chance for James, Wade and Chris Bosh to shed the pressure that's been sitting on their shoulders since the playoffs began and simply enjoy the moment.
While it might not sound like much right now, just wait until the hype machine starts working again and the team's three-peat bid begins. Those incredible expectations make little things like a carefree parade more enjoyable for the league's top team.
The celebration starts Monday at 11 a.m. Once it concludes, the focus will shift to next season and the potential three-peat.