“We really appreciate the fans, all the love,” said forward Udonis Haslem, a Miami native. “The least we can do is ride down the street, wave our hands, and show our love for the fans. We’ve got more partying to do.”
Draped on the side of the buses: an enormous banner of the championship trophy, with the message, “Thanks Heat Fans.”
Wade got the honor (and responsibility) of carrying the actual trophy as he cruised through Miami. Wade had a tighter grip on the hardware than the Spanish soccer stars who let their Copa del Rey trophy slip through their fingers during a similar parade, ending up under the bus wheels.
While cloud cover made the day a little cooler than it otherwise would be, the heat was a bit too much for some. At least two observers fainted along Biscayne Boulevard. There were also distress calls for children who had wandered away from their parents.
But for the most part, it was a display of peaceful, and safe, revelry. From Calle Ocho to Bayside, tens of thousands lined Miami’s streets to take part in the moveable feast.
They wore Heat championship shirts, Wade jerseys and inflatable crowns. And a chicken suit. And large snakes. One brave man dressed up as a Knicks fan.
Some started the celebration a little early with Coronas or liquor out of a flask. But just a few. This crowd was full of kids and mothers with strollers.
Several people brought the family dog along for the parade. Only one man brought his snakes — two rescued boa constrictors.
“They needed a little exercise,” said the handler, who calls himself Fang Daddy. “And they wanted to support the Heat.”
At the intersection of Biscayne Boulevard and Flagler Street, Calvin Darville, 25, was wearing a Miami Heat hat and a brand new championship T-shirt as he waited for the celebration parade to start.
He drove two hours from Fort Pierce Sunday night to get here early Monday morning. His favorite player is James.
So what would he say to LeBron haters?
“Kiss the ring.”
Miami Herald staff writers Anthony Cave, Tim Chapman, Anna Edgerton, Daniela Guzman, Margaux Hererra, Michael McGuire, Meredith Rutland, Colleen Wright and Luisa Yanez contributed to this report.