Miami, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Heat Center Chris Bosh “messed up” with Manny Pacquiao fan coach Erik Spoelstra when undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. visited the team’s facility to give some inspirational talk.
Mayweather talked to the Miami Heat about remaining on top as they face stiffer competition from across the league.
Spoelstra, who is of Filipino descent like Pacquiao, played coy when asked about Mayweather’s presence Sunday and deferred questions about his message to other Heat players.
The Heat coach has been a loyal fan of boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, who was long regarded as Mayweather’s biggest rival, but the two have never met in the ring through years of failed negotiations.
“I thought about messing with [Spoelstra] just a little bit,” Heat center Chris Bosh said. “We always try to give Spo a tough time when anybody from the Philippines goes down. That’s no disrespect to Pacquiao. He’s one of the greatest to ever do it. But we had the undefeated champ here.”
Bosh said it was fantastic to just soak up whatever Mayweather he had to say.”
“With him being 17 years-and-0 — we’re trying to defend two titles — he’s been defending for a long time,”
Heat superstar LeBron James said Mayweather definitely knows where the Heat players are coming from, having defended his title for a long time.
“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.”
Another Heat star, Dwyane Wade, said that just seeing Mayweather makes him work a little harder even when he felt tired.
The Heat, which spent Sunday preparing for its preseason opener Monday against Atlanta, are trying to become just the fourth team in NBA history to win three consecutive titles.
Mayweather, 36, has collected at least eight major championship belts over his decorated 17-year career that has made him one of the wealthiest prizefighters in history.
It’s a rare moment when Heat team president Pat Riley has allowed outsiders to attend workouts and address the team.