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AP photo LeBron James speaks as President Barack Obama honors the NBA champions Miami Heat basketball team in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Jan. 28, 2013. Also pictured is Mitchell native Mike Miller (back right).

Obama honors NBA Champion Heat

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Obama honors NBA Champion Heat
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WASHINGTON -- Mike Miller's performance against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the final game of last year's NBA Finals in June mesmerized thousands of viewers across the country.

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But Monday at the White House, Mitchell native Miller, along with the rest of the 2012 NBA Champion Miami Heat, was honored by the nation's leading man, President Barack Obama.

"Mike Miller could barely walk," said Obama, after recognizing LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh -- the Big Three. "Mike, you look better now. You looked broke down last year but still hit seven three-pointers in the final game. I don't know how he did it because he could not walk. He looked like an old man."

The Heat finally came out victorious after coming up short the year before.

"Everybody doing their part is what finally put the Heat over the top," Obama said.

The president also recognized the franchise's work off the court. He thanked them for supporting military service members at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said the team will hopefully serve as an inspiration to the nation of what can be done "when you come together and sacrifice your egos for a greater goal" and "hard-hat work ethic."

James, who presented Obama with an autographed basketball, said the team including members that hail from Illinois, Texas, Michigan, Ohio and South Dakota were honored to be in the executive mansion.

"We're in the White House right now, which is like, like 'mama I made it,' " James said, as the audience laughed and cheered.

The last time the Heat visited the White House was after winning the 2006 title.

The Associated Press also contributed to this story

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