Mayweather was a surprise guest at Heat practice Sunday morning, sitting courtside with team president Pat Riley, managing general partner Micky Arison and other members of the franchise’s brain trust. It’s rare for any outsider to get invited into Heat practice, though Mayweather’s resume - unbeaten in 45 fights and generally considered the best fighter of his era - certainly earned him the ultra-VIP access.

”We’re trying to defend two titles. He’s been defending for a long time,” Heat star LeBron James said. ”He definitely knows where we’re coming from. It’s exciting at the end of the day to have someone, one of the greatest of all-time, to be in the presence. It’s something you can talk about years from now. … We’re honored and blessed to have him in the building.”

Mayweather, who left just as practice was ending, gave the Heat a brief speech, reminding the two-time defending NBA champions about the need for hard work and dedication.

Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press