Miami Heat fans celebrate after Game 5 of the NBA finals basketball series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Friday, June 22, 2012, in Miami. The Heat won 121-106 to become the 2012 NBA Champions. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
The Miami Heat parade will take place Monday at 11 a.m., city officials announced.
The parade will start at the corner of SW 8th Street and 2nd Avenue, head east on 8th Street and then north on Brickell Avenue. It will proceed across the bridge and north on Biscayne Boulevard and end at AmericanAirlines Arena, officials said.
The victory parade will celebrate the team's NBA championship win against the Oklahoma City Thunder Thursday night. The Heat toppled the Thunder 121-106 in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
City workers are gearing up for a 20-block victory parade, which will mean calling on 160 police officers to watch over the streets.
"It's a pretty intense process," said City Manager Johnny Martinez, pointing out the Heat organization is picking up the tab for the celebration.
Martinez said waiting until Monday gives the city more time to prepare police, fire, and public works crews. Plus, fans don't "have to make a special trip downtown," he said, since many will already be at work there.
Nail technician Starr Morrison, who gives pedicures at the new Marco Aldany salon on Biscayne Boulevard, is looking forward to the parade.
"Of course it's gonna boost our business," Morrison said, "if people just stop by to find out information."
Right after the win, former Heat player Shaquille O'Neal told NBC 6 he was proud of what the team had accomplished.
“Fabulous season, they came through. LeBron, the king, finally got it done. Congratulations to Micky Arison, the Heat, Miami, they deserved it,” O'Neal said inside the arena.
“I know what it feels like to be a great player and not to have a ring, but you know he fought, he stayed out of trouble, great guy off the court, did everything the right way, played great basketball was a great leader this year, last year, they got it done," said O'Neal, who won a NBA title with Dwyane Wade and the Heat in 2006.
TV sports analyst and former NBA star Charles Barkley also spoke to NBC 6 about the win.
"I picked the Heat in six, I’m surprised they won four in a row, but they were just too good for the Thunder," he said.
When asked what caused the Heat turnaround in the playoffs, Barkley credited LeBron.
"When LeBron took over in the Indiana series and started realizing it was his team and he has to be their leader," Barkley said. "'Cause he covers up a lot of their flaws because he’s such a great player."
Minutes after the Heat clinched the NBA title, fans flooded local sporting goods stores for championship swag. Stores remained open late passing out gear to eager fans.
"We are happy LeBron got his ring. The Heat is on!" one fan said at Dick's Sporting Goods in Pembroke Pines.
The winning team, meanwhile, partied the night away at Club LIV in Miami Beach.
"... To our fans, we just want to appreciate them for being there and supporting us and we're just happy we were able to get this win here in Miami, especially after what happened last year, so it definitely feels good to win here at home," player Joel Anthony said outside the club.
Miami-Dade Transit said it will run additional Metrorail and Metromover trains on Monday for the parade, and provide an "express pay" lane at select Metrorail stations. For more information, see www.miamidade.gov/transit or call 305-891-3131.
Broward County Transit said its BCT 595 Express Miami/Brickell bus will leave at 7:10 and 7:40 a.m. Monday from the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise to take passengers to Brickell Plaza. Buses will leave for the return trip every 30 minutes between 3:35 and 6:05 p.m.
For more info on BCT's offerings, including its U.S. 1 and Miramar Parkway buses that go to the Aventura Mall – where you can transfer to Miami-Dade Transit's Route 93 Biscayne MAX or Route 3 buses – visit broward.org/bct or call 954-357-8400.