Floyd Mayweather Jr. knows a thing or two about retaining a title — 15 times guys have stepped through the ropes trying to take away one of his belts, and they’ve all failed. Mayweather is 45-0 as a boxer and is going to go down mentioned with the legends of the sport.
Sunday in Miami as the Heat continue to grind through training camp, Mayweather was a surprise guest to speak to the team, reports ESPN.
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade talked about what it was to have the champ at practice.
“With him being 17 years-and-0 — we’re trying to defend two titles — 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.”
“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, take what you work for. 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.”
Mayweather is a guy with a lot of fans in NBA locker rooms (Kevin Garnett was at his fight last month, for one). He commands respect.
While Heat players have shrugged off the idea, a lot of the teams that have won two in a row suffered some level of complacency that next season. Pat Riley and Eric Spoelstra are trying to keep that out of the Heat locker room, Mayweather is part of that.
But really, that tone will be set by LeBron and Wade. They are the leaders, this is their team, and if they don’t tolerate complacency it will not be an issue. If they show a little of it… well, the East is a lot deeper and more difficult to get out of this season.