The Miami Heat's LeBron James with Miami City Ballet's Jeanette… (David Alvarez / Miami Heat )
The Miami City Ballet and the Miami Heat have more than grace under fire in common: They share a 25th anniversary, and basketball superstars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are helping mark the occasion.
The players are teaming up, so to speak, with ballerinas to commemorate their silver anniversaries this year. As part of the "Ballet and Basketball" celebration, the team and company are reenacting a photograph taken before the first-ever Heat game or Miami Ballet performance.
The 25-year-old picture shows towering Heat player Billy Thompson posing with a dancer for the original company. In the redux -- a series of photographs meant to showcase the elegance, strength and passion of sport and art -- James and Wade posed with two of Miami City Ballet principal dancers, sisters Jeanette and Patricia Delgado.
"We feel like at times on the court we're basically ballerinas in the air," Wade said in a video on the Heat's website. "So it's good to put two worlds together."
"Ballet and basketball are both about grace under pressure and the pursuit of perfection," said Miami City Ballet Artistic Director Lourdes Lopez. "No Miami City Ballet dancer stands alone just as Heat players can't win alone. It requires teamwork."
The photos are part of an ambitious national campaign meant not just to promote both institutions, but to highlight the arts scene on Miami's Biscayne Boulevard, where the Heat's American Airlines Arena and the ballet's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts are located. The campaign also involves appearances at events.
At Sunday's Heat game against the Lakers (sorry L.A., an 107–97 win for the home team), the Delgado sisters were interviewed on the court by the team's arena host, "Dale" -- decked out in a white suit and tutu.
In the Heat video, James was quick to give the women of the Miami Ballet their due.
"What those ladies do ... is unique," he said. "It’s great to have a couple of pictures with them in their poses -- poses I know I’d never be able to get into!"