President Barack Obama is hailing the Dallas Mavericks at the White House seven months after they beat the Miami Heat in the NBA finals.
The first basketball fan usually roots for his hometownChicago Bulls. But in an East Room ceremony Monday, he praised Coach Rick Carlisle and Mavericks stars, including German-born forward Dirk Nowitzki, for defeating the Heat in six games last June.
The victory was sweet revenge for Dallas after it blew an NBA finals lead to the Heat five years earlier. The victory also upended the hope of Heat superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for a championship in their first year playing together.
Delonte West was not among the team’s members at the White House. The oft-troubled guard said he is banned from visiting the White House after Obama’s security team ran a routine background check on him.
However, ABC News reports that the U.S. Secret Service disagrees with that assessment.
“The individual in question was never someone that would not be permitted to attend the event today,” Secret Service agent Edwin Donovan told the news organization. “He is on the list for entry today and was never advised otherwise to my knowledge.