The Heat, reeling from a bitter double overtime loss in Boston yesterday, had just the thing on their agenda today to cheer themselves up: a visit to the White House to mark their 2012 championship. The Heat did all the usual things: they kibbitzed with Barack Obama, they gifted him a signed basketball and “OBAMA”-emblazoned jersey, they listened as the president showered them with kind words.
And it’s possible you’ve seen this Heat team do all those things before. How, you ask, given that they never actually had visited the White House before today? Well, maybe they didn’t, but their video game equivalents in the NBA2K series have. And Youtube happens to have video of the fake Heat White House visit, which you can see here. So how did the real thing compare to the video game version? Well, no offense to the acclaimed 2K series, but… the real thing pretty much blew it out of the water. Let’s take a look at the evidence. For one thing, the real one had a somewhat flustered LeBron saying a few words, and calling Obama “coach” by accident at one point:
… the video game version did not. Advantage: reality. Additionally, he was wearing some of his trademark fake glasses today, giving him a goofier look than in the game. Advantage: reality.
Additionally, before LeBron’s brief remarks, Obama asked Erik Spoelstra to say a few words of his own. Spoelstra acknowledged the nonstop criticism his team received along the way, demonstrating the required self-awareness… but also said some things about how he hoped his team could serve as an inspiration to others, about what a group can achieve when they sacrifice for a common goal. You can see it starting at the 5:30 mark below:
Spoelstra’s remarks provide excellent material for Heat haters: “Oh, yeah, all the inspiring things a group can achieve when they have unfair advantages that let them get better players than anyone else! What a great underdog story!” They’ll have a field day. Advantage: reality.
In fairness to the game: it included a sequence where Obama holds the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Today’s ceremony did not. Advantage: game. Additionally, in the game’s version of the ceremony, no one ever smiles. We’re not sure if that’s an advantage, exactly, but we’re enjoying the mental image of the most joyless White House championship celebration of all time. And it deserves some credit for correctly predicting the “Wade holds the Obama jersey” detail.
But other details, only the real thing could offer. Details like Wade’s shoes for the occasion. Details like Wade offering Obama a 10-day contract. And details like what LeBron’s Instagram provided. Bosh lookin’ suave. LeBron and Mike Miller, strategizing. And this. “No caption needed.” Indeed it isn’t. Advantage: reality. In a big way.