Floyd Mayweather Jr. attended Heat practice on Sunday and delivered the team a message about defending titles. The boxer knows a little bit about that. He's 45-0 over a 17-year career.
"Not many people can relate to our guys in terms of championships, so we felt he would be a great voice for him to hear," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "His message was awesome. The guys ate it all up."
Mayweather was in town on Saturday for the Canes' game and Spoelstra reached out with an offer to attend practice. Few outsiders are ever allowed to watch Heat practice, according to Dwyane Wade, but Mayweather is a little different.
"From one champion to another, he just talked about being proud of us and how we handled ourselves," Wade said. "He knows, as a champion, how hard it is to go out there and compete when people try to take you down. He kept telling us how proud he is of us. If you got up today and you were a little tired, you walk in and see the champ, you work a little harder."
LeBron James, who is friends with Mayweather, put Spoelstra and the boxer in touch.
"With him being 17 years-and-0, we're trying to defend two titles and he's been defending for a long time," James said. "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."
Both Spoelstra and Pat Riley are boxing fans. Spoelstra is a loyal supporter of Manny Pacquiao, but said on Sunday that "you can't deny" Mayweather's work ethic and career.
"Seventeen years on top is ridiculous," Spoelstra said. "We all have the ultimate respect."