Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 1/9/12
The Twitter feed for Mavs owner Mark Cuban simply asked "So what did you do today" followed by a smiley face. And a link to a picture of himself and the NBA champion Mavericks at the White House with President Obama. Subtle, huh? Cuban and the Mavericks received the traditional White House welcome for U.S. sports champions. They brought the Larry O'Brien Trophy with them and gave President Obama, a huge Chicago Bulls fan, a Mavericks jersey with his name and the number 23 on it. "I was 23 before Jordan," Obama joked. "He got the number from me." The president was in a jovial, joking mood throughout the ceremony, although the formality of the occasion was symbolized by the sight of the usually T-shirt clad Cuban in a suit and tie. Obama even teased Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki about his singing ability. Nowitzki famously and joyously sang "We Are The Champions" during several championship celebrations last June. Before the ceremony, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, an accomplished pianist, tickled the ivories on a White House piano. The team also met with some wounded soldiers and the occasion was witnessed by D.C. dignitaries from Texas. On the way to the event, Nowitzki tweeted a picture of himself and teammate Brian Cardinal with the caption: "On bus goin to the white house sic. What an honor to meet the POTUS." Nowitzki then tweeted his disappointment that former Mavericks who were part of the championship team, including Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea, could not be with the team. A current Maverick, Delonte West, who was not part of the championship run, also did not make the trip. West said he was "banned" from entering the White House because of a 2010 conviction on a weapons charge, but the Secret Service denied that. The only other ruffle about the trip came earlier from Cuban, who expressed dismay that the NBA did not schedule the Mavericks to play at the Washington Wizards this season. Championship teams usually make their White House visits when they play near Washington D.C. the following season. All that was forgotten when Obama entered the room and lauded the Mavericks for their win over the favored Miami Heat in last year's NBA Finals. Obama acknowledged the contributions of everyone in the Mavericks organization, from original owner Donald Carter and to arena staff, in contributing to the title. "This team really does have a heart that's the size of Texas," Obama said. "This was a remarkable run, a great victory and a great vindication for all the effort Mark Cuban put into building this team and for longtime players like Dirk Nowitzki and long-suffering fans like all of you. I just want to give heartfelt congratulations to all of you." Follow Keith Whitmire on Twitter: @Keith_Whitmire
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