After stringing together back-to-back NBA championships, the Miami Heat would seem to have the championship thing figured out. That's why many may be surprised that the defending champs hosted pound-for-pound boxing great Floyd Mayweather Jr. on Sunday for words of encouragement heading into the 2013-14 season, according to ESPN's Michael Wallace.
The undefeated Mayweather knows a thing or two about championships, winning titles in five weight divisions and holding at least one title belt for the better part of the last 15 years. So there may be no better person to rile up the team than Mayweather—outside of NBA great Michael Jordan.
Wallace reported that Heat star LeBron James spoke highly of Mayweather's speech, saying:
With him being 17 years-and-0 -- we're trying to defend two titles -- he's been defending for a long time. He definitely knows where we're coming from. It's definitely exciting to have someone, one of the greatest of all time, to be in your presence. It's something you can talk about years from now when you look back on the history of sports. That guy was at our practice.
Miami is seeking to become just the fourth team in NBA history to win three consecutive titles, so getting words of advice from an elite athlete that has never lost in his professional career couldn't hurt in their pursuit of greatness.
Heat coach Pat Riley is known for keeping anyone not affiliated with the team out of practices but made an exception this time due to his longtime admiration for the sport of boxing.
Mayweather has been courtside for many Miami games over the past few years, including the Heat's title-clinching Game 7 win over the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals, for which he reportedly failed to pay a hefty sum of cash for after the fact, per TMZ.
With the Heat being the championship favorites heading into this season, they may very well extend their title reign. If they do, knowing Mayweather's cocky attitude, he may think that he had something to do with their continued success.