Dallas Mavericks Honored at the White House

Former Wizard comes 'home'.

The Dallas Mavericks were recognized by President Obama on Monday for winning the 2011 NBA Championship. (Relive the excitement here).

Dallas Mavericks' head coach Mark Cuban with President Obama at the White House on Monday. Photo/CD Brown.

The Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat, 105-95, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals, winning their first NBA title in franchise history.

"Some called them the Bad News Bears", joked President Obama who predicted that his beloved Chicago Bulls would be standing in the Mavs' place next year.

The president continued to quote the 'nay sayers' who had counted the team as down and out.

"Some said Jason Kidd was too old. Some said Dirk Nowitzky was too slow."

Looking around for Dirk, President Obama said to a room full of laughs, "They did say that Dirk. I'm sorry".

The Mavericks' championship team included three former Washington Wizards on its roster: DeShawn Stevenson, Caron Butler (who sat out with an injury), and Brendan Hayward. Of the three only Hayward remains. He joined his fellow teammates on stage in the White House East Room.

Former Washington Wizard Brendan Haywood (rear) with President Obama at the White House on Monday. Photo/CD Brown.

The newly acquired Vince Carter and former LA Laker Lamar Odom were also in attendance, and granted DC UrbanSports an exclusive interview.

"It's an honor", said Carter on getting the chance to visit the White House. He described the opportunity as "second to none".

The Mavs currently rank 'second' in the Southwest division with a 4-5 record.

When we mentioned the team's rocky season start, Carter told us he thinks the team is "doing fine". "We're right in the mix of things. Once we start jelling together we're going to be okay."

While the visit to the White House was Carter's first experience, it Lamar Odom's second. He visited the White House as an LA Laker, along with former teammate Kobe Bryant (view here), and again as a Dallas Maverick.

"It's always great", said Odom. "It's a tremendous opportunity to be around tradition. It's a blessing."

Odom was traded to the Mavs after expressing his dislike of the Lakers' desire to trade out of LA in return for Chris Paul. Paul is now with the Sacramento Clippers.

Ironically Odom, speaking of the Mavs record, told us "life is full of second chances."

For now, Odom's 'second chance' comes in the form of being a Dallas Maverick.

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Note: While visiting the White House the Mavericks visited with wounded warriors.

Related: View photos of the Mavs' White House visit.

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