After vanquishing the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of the 2013 NBA Finals, the Miami Heat had come to the end of a journey that began with a late-September preseason exhibition trip to China by accomplishing exactly what they had set out to do — defend their titles, repeat as NBA champions and stay at the top of the mountain despite taking every opponent's best shot for eight straight months. After all the hard work, discipline, focus and sacrifice the repeat bid demanded, it was time to cut loose a little bit, and LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and their teammates (and even one of their opponents) did just that late Thursday night and early Friday morning, according to Fred Gonzalez of the Miami Herald:
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the 2-time champion Miami Heat headed to South Beach to celebrate their NBA title early Friday morning, but they didn't go to the popular nightclub everyone expected.
Instead they thrilled the crowd at Story nightclub, the sister club of the popular LIV nightclub at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, with James and Wade arriving at close to 3 a.m. Teammates like Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen, Norris Cole, Chris Bosh, Juwan Howard and others were in attendance, as well as coach Erik Spoelstra, team president Pat Riley and [owner Micky] Arison. Everyone was drinking Dom Perignon Luminous label, as 115 bottles were paraded through the club to the Heat's area. Local late-night restaurant Big Pink delivered pizza in the club for the hungry players, and nearby celeb steakhouse Prime 112 made a special food delivery to James in VIP.
As of press time, Gonzalez hadn't confirmed whether or not the champs had topped last year's $200,000 bar bill. We wait with bated breath and throbbing livers for the final tally.
You can check out some photos of the Heat players celebrating at Story thanks to Seth Browarnik at WorldRedEye.com — plus some shots of fans getting down, plus a couple of very different night-enders for Miami champions — in the slideshow above. If you'd like a more motion-friendly look at what transpired at Story, hit the jump for videos of LeBron, Dwyane and the rest of the back-to-back champs blowing off a little steam.
PLEASE NOTE: There's quite a bit of strong language in the videos below — most in the form of hip-hop lyrics, some just in the form of dudes swearing into microphones — so the content might not be suitable for all watchers/listeners. User discretion is suggested.
After the Game 7 win, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra praised NBA Finals MVP James for his amazing conditioning and the calories he burned on the defensive end covering players like Spurs guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
"He probably lost 12, 15 pounds in this playoff run expending so much energy," Spoelstra told reporters.
And what better way to get your weight back up than by munching on pizza and drinking champagne with Drake? The platinum-selling recording artist made sure he was front and center throughout the postgame celebration, making up for the stonewalling he got trying to enter the Heat locker room after Game 7 finished. Plus, he munched on some 'za, which makes this a comeback story for the ages. Way more impressive than the Heat winning Games 6 and 7 after going down 3-2, if you ask me.
But it wasn't all just pizza and Drake. There was music and Drake, too, not to mention dancing and Drake, high-fiving and Drake, and pointing and Drake. Basically, the Heat's victory party was a lot like listening to any major-market hip-hop radio station at any point over the last, oh, four years or so, except the songs weren't edited. For a glimpse of what it was like, push play below:
Seems like the Heat had a ton of fun, which is great. They earned it. Rest up, grab some extra ibuprofen and slug some water, gang, and enjoy your likely-all-too-brief respite. The title defense starts tomorrow.