Obama on Miami Heat: ‘Pick-Up Game on My Birthday … Sharpened Their Skills’ to Win NBA Title

By Jon Schulter | January 30, 2013 | 1:23 PM EST

President Barack Obama. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

- President Barack Obama joked that playing a pick-up basketball game at the White House prepared some of the NBA Miami Heat players to earn their 2012 NBA Championship title.

"I know this is the first trip for some of these players, but a few of them were here a couple of years ago for a pick-up game on my birthday," Obama facetiously  said on Monday as he met with Miami Heat members at the White House. “Now, I'm not trying to take all the credit, coach, but I think that it's clear that going up against me prepared them to take on Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.”

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“It sharpened their skills,” Obama said.  "It gave them the competitive edge that they needed. And I think part of the reason they came back today [to the White House] is they wanted another shot at the old guy. But first, I have to congratulate the Heat, on their well-earned title."

The Miami Heat won their first title since 2006. It was the first championship for LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and many others on the team. It was the second title earned by all-star Dwyane Wade.