You just won the NBA championship. You are ecstatic, eager to extend that ecstasy as long as you can, and desperate to celebrate, dance, carry on, drink champagne, smoke cigars and, to borrow a well-worn cliche from coach Erik Spoelstra, "live in the moment" of your career's greatest achievement. You are in Miami. So you go to LIV, the massive nightclub and den of debauchery at the Fontainebleau resort hotel in Miami Beach, and get to poppin' off.
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That's what the Dallas Mavericks did last year after clinching the O'Brien at the AmericanAirlines Arena, with Dirk Nowitzki and company hammering down a monster magnum of Ace of Spades champagne en route to ringing up a $110,000 bar tab, happily paid by victorious Mavs owner Mark Cuban. On Thursday night — and, really Friday morning — the Miami Heat washed away the agony of that defeat and threw themselves whole-hog into the thrill of victory, taking over LIV and casting aside Cuban's credit-card bill like it was a receipt for your airport sandwich.
The Heat reportedly dropped (at least) $200,000 on their post-Finals victory party, an all-night rager that reportedly cost a stack to enter and featured surprise performances, dancing women twirling flaming sticks, carbon dioxide guns and an awful lot of your favorite hip-hop classics (read: the four songs on the radio now). That's an especially staggering sum when you consider that they've got seven more of these to cover.
Miami.com's Fred Gonzalez was on-hand for what sounds like it was a pretty insane scene:
Shortly after 2:30 a.m. players began arriving and filling up the main stage at LIV which had been turned into a massive VIP area reserved just for the Heat. Along with Chris Bosh, Udonis Haslem, Joel Anthony, Shane Battier, Norris Cole, Juwan Howard and others, the Heat filled the area to capacity. (Bosh was the last to arrive at 4:30 a.m.).
LIV had to close its doors to the public by 3 a.m. once the team had arrived, already nearing capacity, and then it was time to pop bottles of champagne — an estimated tab of over $200,000 — including the legendary Ace of Spades super magnum-sized champagne (we're talking 15 liters of bubbly, people, with a sticker price of $75K).
Yeah, but what about the butlered hors d'oeuvres? Did they have little lobster rolls? Oh, man, those are the best. Get me one of those the next time the lady comes around.
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Well, that sounds like it was very crazy. And thanks to the magic of photography, videography and the Internet, we know for certain that it was. Hit the jump to bask in the afterglow, thanks to WorldRedEye.com.
PLEASE NOTE: There's some strong language in the videos below — mostly in the form of singing along with hip-hop lyrics — so the content might not be suitable for all watchers/listeners. User discretion is suggested.
More from Gonzalez at Miami.com:
Heat owner Mickey Arison and coach Eric Spoelstra also stopped by to celebrate. Wade wore a t-shirt that read "Team No Sleep", and James, who wore a t-shirt adorned with a vampire version of his face, eventually took to the microphone and attempted to sing to the crowd. Several players took turns shooting the CO2 guns and filling the room with "White Hot' smoke.
It is a testament to how crazy an image of giant men shooting carbon dioxide guns in a club is that "t-shirt adorned with a vampire version of his face" is the second craziest thing in that paragraph.
You'd probably call what James attempted to do rapping, and thankfully, we know what he was rapping: "Riot," by 2 Chainz, in and around a surprise performance by LMFAO. Video, which features some salty language, below:
The weird thought I had while watching the portions of LeBron's rapping in that video is that it doesn't seem very fun to be, like, penned into the VIP while someone else is performing at your party. James, Wade, Bosh and all their people just seem to be standing there, occasionally bopping and watching other people dance. If this was all you saw, you'd think the Heat didn't really have such a great time, especially if you assumed they had to watch LMFAO for, like, hours.
[Johnny Ludden: LeBron James claims his first title as Heat win NBA Finals]
But as the photos from Seth Browarnik at WorldRedEye.com show, that wasn't the case at all:
Bosh, Wade and James celebrate perhaps their best game as a trio, a Game 5 blowout in which they combined for 70 points on 25-for-45 shooting, 26 rebounds, 16 assists, seven blocks and four steals. They were everything Heat owner Micky Arison had dreamed of, which is why he looks so happy here:
The man who writes the checks gets to smile as wide as he pleases and hang wherever he'd like, which is why he's posted up on the left side of DJ Irie, the Heat's in-arena music maestro, who took over the sound system at LIV to kick out the Miami stars' favorite jams as they enjoyed an adult beverage, or two, or, in the case of this magnum of Ace of Spades, about 3,000:
Eat your heart out, Dirk.
I don't have a really smooth, narratively seamless way to link from the giant bottle of champagne to this next one, so let's just call it what it is — Juwan Howard wielding a CO2-powered smoke gun, which is a phrase I never thought I'd get to use outside the context of my little heralded but greatly enriching side gig as a writer of "Ghostbusters" fan-fiction:
Ol' Man Spengler. Egon Howard. Nary a Venkman in sight, and I'm not convinced any old nerd's ever been happier.
And on the last night of an NBA Finals and an NBA season that was, in large part, all about LeBron James, it feels only fitting to close out the party post with a picture of the man, wearing a picture of himself as a vampire on his chest, soaking in the moment:
A moment that, according to TMZ, James didn't allow to end until 6 a.m. Shoot, would you want the best night of your life to shut down before it had to?
Here's to you, Miami Heat. I hope you had fun last night and this morning, and that you are, despite being members of awake gangs and possible vampire-people, sleeping the comfortable sleep of a champion right now. May we all join you soon enough.
Wade image via padroncigars on Instagram. Video of the Miami Heat's 2012 championship celebration at LIV via Seth Browarnik. Video of the LeBron/LMFAO performance comes courtesy of steveberkecomedy. Hat-tips to Scot Drucker and Busted Coverage.
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