Miami, FL – Two years ago, the Miami Heat threw a party at American Airlines Arena to introduce LeBron James and Chris Bosh, who promised a future championship celebration.
After coming up short last year in the NBA Finals, they helped deliver on that promise last week, besting the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to claim the franchise's second title.
On Monday, the Heat held their victory parade that ran through downtown Miami. James and Bosh were joined by the rest of their teammates along with friends and family on double-decker buses. Other Heat staff were loaded onto flatbed trucks.
A celebratory rally akin to a concert followed inside the team's jam-packed arena, where members of the team addressed the frenzied crowd.
"People from the outside, they criticized this group, this team. They didn't support this team, they counted this team out, but they never estimated how close this group was as a family," said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. "And every single one of these players had to sacrifice something, either money, opportunity, minutes, to be a part of this dream and it was all for a moment like this."
No player helped make the moment more possible than James, who was named Finals MVP.
When asked how great is it to be a champion, a content James replied, "It's the best feeling I've ever had. This was my dream right here, to be able to hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy up, hug it, grab it, never want to let it go."