Perhaps the only thing the Miami Heat are better at than winning basketball games is throwing parties.
For the second straight year, the Heat finished their season by riding through the streets of Miami atop floats, basking in the glow of another NBA championship.
Monday afternoon's celebration saw LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and others riding from the corner of Eighth Street and Second Avenue all the way up to Biscayne Boulevard as thousands from all walks of life descended to downtown Miami to congratulate their team. The event concluded the way it had a year prior—with the joyous hoisting of the Larry O'Brien trophy in AmericanAirlines Arena.
Having learned from the success of the first championship, NBC 6 South Florida outfitted NBA Finals MVP LeBron James with a constant streaming camera on the parade route. For the most part, it was merely an up-close and personal look at the game's best player reacting to his fans.
In one moment, though, the Heat quite nearly went from a Big Three to a Big Two:
I always say things are all fun and games until somebody gets decapitated. Luckily, LeBron was able to translate some of his court vision over to, umm, bridge vision(?) and escape harm.
Perhaps next year, they'll choose a route that considers things like player height and such. That sure would stank if LeBron or somebody got hurt.
In more positive news, LeBron will once again find himself being compared to Michael Jordan. Don't worry; I'm not talking about that inane argument again. This time, it merely seems like both men enjoy themselves a nice cigar when celebrating an NBA championship:
Also participating in the cigar-partaking festivities was Dwyane Wade—err, "Three." As pointed out by ESPN's Dave McMenamin, Wade isn't one for actually smoking his victory cigar:
Dwyane Wade living out a Will Smith lyric: "It's for the look, I don't light it" pic.twitter.com/khGVmIFaDo— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) June 24, 2013
Good choice, Three. Good choice, indeed.
Meanwhile, Chris Bosh got the distinction of holding the Larry O'Brien Trophy throughout the proceedings.
Always a quick lightning rod of tongue-in-cheek criticism from fans and snarky writers (*looks in mirror*), Bosh was again almost at the center of another controversy. As pointed out by Fox Sports' Chris Tommasson, the Heat big man was holding the championship trophy with an awfully loose grip:
Chris Bosh is holding Larry O'Brien Trophy at front of double decker bus a bit loosely. If driver hits the brakes, it's hitting the asphalt.— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) June 24, 2013
I don't know. If you look at that picture, it looks to me like he's holding the trophy the same way I would a newborn—like a Bosh:
Even with Miami's "Big Three" getting most of the attention on Monday, there may not have been two happier people in the world to be there than Chris "Birdman" Andersen and Mike Miller. The duo rode in the same float together, Miller squirting the gleeful crowd with a water gun and Birdman doing his trademarked wing-flapping celebration.
The Heat's Instagram feed had a cool shot of the two mean-mugging the camera like true BFFs:
Sheesh. No wonder opposing teams are so afraid to come down the lane against Birdman or that Miller spent much of his finals wide open from the three-point line. I wouldn't want to mess with them, either. Of course, it was all merely in jovial fun.
Here is a Vine video (also courtesy of the Heat) of Birdman showing off for his adoring fans:
Also, there was this video with Rashard Lewis, for which we can credit TNT NBA analyst Shaquille O'Neal—someone who might know a thing or two about celebrating in South Florida:
Squirt guns seemed to be the in-vogue choice during the parade for Heat players. Joel Anthony also took time out along the route to douse fans with the holy waters of championship glory:
As for the fans in attendance, well, let's just say they were all pretty happy to see their heroes celebrate the title. They also didn't seem to be too concerned about respecting police property.
As tweeted out by Adam Kuperstein of NBC 6 in South Florida, there were about 40 fans using a police cruiser as a stepping stand to watch the parade:
Let's hope for those fans' sakes that the police are taking in a more relaxed ideals system during this celebration.
Once inside AmericanAirlines Arena, the exuberant attitude only continued. As captured by the South Florida Sun Sentinel's YouTube channel, the screams of the crowd were almost as loud as the pulsating bass from the speakers:
Even the normally reserved Pat Riley could not help but do his best Mark Madsen impersonation when introduced to the cheering crowd:
Juwan Howard, a vital locker room leader over these past couple of seasons, also could not contain his excitement—though his "shock the world" sentiment might have been a stretch:
Heat players also had the opportunity to be interviewed during the process, with the crowd cheering every answer like it was Game 7 all over again. Then again, taken out of context, this Mike Miller moment might have been seen as an act of protest toward a man whose contract has been the subject of debate:
And this is just weird, Shane Battier:
Also, let it be said that the Miami Heat had one of the best "Harlem Shake" videos of all time—of all time:
It was the place of celebration three years prior, when these Heat introduced themselves to the world as the "Big Three." That moment, once a source of derision for many Miami detractors, is now seen as a precursor to what might be the league's newest dynasty. All of the mockery that came along with the pre-celebration, the "not four, not five, not six..." quotes and everything else now seems worth it.
This Heat team was once again triumphant. Now, no one can question their motives for throwing another victory parade.
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