Miami Heat Championship Ring 2013: Recap of Ceremony Before Tipoff vs. Bulls
The Miami Heat received their NBA championship rings in a ceremony at AmericanAirlines Arena before they tipped off their 2013-14 season on Tuesday night against the Chicago Bulls.
A magnificent montage that was projected onto the hardwood floor at the arena preceded the players meeting commissioner David Stern and managing general partner Micky Arison at half court to receive their rings.
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel captured an image of the rings and sent it out on Twitter just before the ceremony got underway:
Heat championship ring. pic.twitter.com/J9ZLj1lRKT— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) October 29, 2013
B/R's Ethan J. Skolnick translated the Chinese text on the rings, which holds a special meaning to the squad:
The Heat championship ring has the word "sacrifice" written in Chinese, because that's where last season started— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) October 29, 2013
Darren Rovell of ESPN captured the scene before the festivities unfolded, as police guarded the veiled, historic accessories:
Heat rings being guarded pic.twitter.com/vpedc86FMg— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) October 29, 2013
To kick off the ceremony, Stern highlighted the Heat’s franchise-best 66 wins from last season, which included an outstanding 27-game winning streak. Stern also acknowledged the thrilling NBA Finals, where Miami came out on top in gritty fashion over the San Antonio Spurs.
Arison presented the first championship ring to Pat Riley, the Heat’s president of basketball operations. Next up was Arison’s son, Nick, who serves as the chief executive officer, followed by senior vice president and general manager Andy Elisburg.
After the training staff was acknowledged, the next individuals to be recognized by name were all the members of the coaching staff, capped off by head coach Erik Spoelstra.
That was when the video tribute commenced, and the Heat fans erupted in pandemonium in reliving their team's successful defense of the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.
James was serenaded with chants of "MVP!" as he received his ring. Shortly thereafter, the championship banner was raised to the rafters.
However, in a recent article by ESPN.com's Michael Wallace, it was revealed that James favored pushing the ring ceremony to another time, rather than before a game night.
Bulls superstar Derrick Rose, who is coming off an ACL injury after missing all of last year and the previous postseason, stated in a SportsCenter interview with Michael Wilbon that he wouldn't watch the ring ceremony if given the choice:
Rose's fire should be ignited even more to prove himself in his first game back.
This will be quite a showdown between two of the Eastern Conference's best on Tuesday evening, and an opportunity for both to make a statement as the NBA returns.
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