The Miami Heat have been crowned as the 2013 NBA champions, and their celebratory parade is officially in the books. While every champion celebrates in this fashion, we know the Heat to be the rowdiest of the bunch in this generation's NBA.
So what were the best moments and images from their victory celebration?
The Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs in seven games to win the NBA championship, using an unthinkable comeback in Game 6 to save their season. They proceeded to win 95-88 in the decide-all game, thus earning their second consecutive title.
The celebration soon ensued.
Countless fans were in attendance as the Heat toured Miami and held the championship gold high for their supporters to see. With the superstars and role players all getting their due, we saw the identity of this team shine through.
When it was all said and done, we learned how close this team truly was.
For a majority of the 2012-13 NBA regular season, Chris "Birdman" Andersen was left to watch basketball from his couch. From questions about his character to off-court legal issues, the 34-year-old saw his future come into question.
Who knew that he'd be the difference for the Heat?
Miami spent a strong portion of their season without a rim protector, and thus began the season in a manner below their standards. With Andersen's arrival, however, came the spark that sent Miami on a legendary 27-game winning streak.
Andersen opened up to the fans on just how much this opportunity meant.
Birdman, "I never really imagined being in this spot in January when I was sitting at home, debating whether I was going to be playing."— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) June 24, 2013
Chris Andersen, "When everybody counted me out, I definitely made it a point to prove them wrong."— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) June 24, 2013
This is why we love the NBA. This is why we love sports.
Mike Miller's Shoe
One of the most definitive images of the Miami Heat has been the absence of Mike Miller's shoe. While that may seem to be something strange to imagine, Miller has an uncanny ability to lose his shoe during games.
The fans reminded him of that.
Fans in front row of celebration throwing shoes at Mike Miller during his interview. (Not in a George W. Bush way.)— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) June 24, 2013
Throughout the course of the season—and quite frankly, his 13-year career—Miller has lost his shoe during games. Not only does the shoe come off, but Miller does not, as he keeps on playing and, more times than not, steps up.
The legend of the shoe continues.
Ray Allen's Big Shot
The most iconic moment of the 2013 NBA Finals, and perhaps the entire season, was the three-point field goal that Ray Allen made to send Game 6 to overtime. Not only did it help Miami stave off elimination, but it was a symbol of their team.
By any means necessary.
Allen weighed in on the shot, explaining that it was one of the most glorious moments of his career. With more than 3,000 three-point field goals made between the regular season and playoffs, Allen certainly has a history of big shots.
If you ask him, none were bigger than this.
Ray Allen, on his Game 6 overtime-forcing shot, "After Game 7, I'd have to say that is the biggest shot I ever hit in my career."— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) June 24, 2013
A bold statement, but one with merit.
They also nearly came to blows.
Passion, anxiety, tension—call it what you want, but they got the job done.
It's no secret that Wade has sacrificed more than any other player since the Big Three were formed. A perennial MVP candidate, D-Wade is now viewed as a second tier superstar that plays the role of Robin to LeBron's Batman.
A three-time NBA champion and former finals MVP himself, Wade certainly has a claim to deserving his fair share of touches.
While it's unclear why they fought, it shows just how close these two are that they can respond and win Game 7. This bond between two superstars is exactly why Miami survived the Spurs and won the NBA championship.
Judging by the picture captured by Heat guard Norris Cole, they're doing just fine.
Winning cures all.
The King Speaks
For the second consecutive season, Miami Heat forward LeBron James won both the regular season and finals MVP awards. While this may not have been his easiest path to the title, LeBron displayed intestinal fortitude that we hadn't seen in previous seasons.
To put it simply, he fought through a basketball war.
In the end, Miami survived.
LeBron's entire speech was filled with gems, as he thanked the fans and praised his teammates for an extraordinary season. With his second career title in the record books, there was a question posed about which title he "liked more."
The answer was simple.
Which title is LeBron's favorite? "I guess whichever one I'm talking to at that point and time."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 24, 2013
Something tells me this won't be his last championship ring.
In the end, the Heat closed out their season in the same way that they started it. Not only was it a party, but they took to the stage to reprise their infamous dance video.
The Harlem Shake.
Harlem Shake at Heat championship victory celebration. https://t.co/VehCIoOu9u— Joseph Goodman (@JoeGoodmanJr) June 24, 2013
I know I'm not alone in my impatience for next season to begin.