When you think of Miami, sunny beaches, neon lights and thrilling nightlife experiences might come to mind, and rightfully so. This past week, however, South Beach was the epicenter of action-packed sporting events.
The Miami Heat's journey toward a Larry O'Brien Trophy continued in the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia 76ers. Another squad from the Sunshine State, the Florida Panthers, began its own quest for championship hardware, the Stanley Cup, against the Washington Capitals.
Formula One racing also came to Miami as the city hosted its first league event on Sunday. The Crypto.com Grand Prix at the new Miami International Autodrome drew a star-studded crowd as many sports luminaries mingled with each other before, during and after the race.
Here's a look at some of the best highlights from an eventful week of sports and athlete sightings in Miami:
The Crypto.com Grand Prix attracted a number of celebrities to Miami before the race even started. Seven-time Super Bowl champion and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady enjoyed some golf with F1 driver Lewis Hamilton. The seven-time Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile champion finished sixth in this weekend's event.
Hamilton wasn't the only one socializing with sports greats. Pierre Gasly had dinner with Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan ahead of the Miami Grand Prix. Jordan has some racing experience, co-owning a NASCAR team with Denny Hamlin.
F1 racer Lando Norris also got in the hoops spirit leading up to the race. He unveiled a hardwood-themed helmet featuring his logo and signature.
Slam dunk 🏀 pic.twitter.com/Apg2rnL4pU— Lando Norris (@LandoNorris) May 5, 2022
Other sports celebrities flocked to Miami for the weekend race. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes posted a picture with tennis superstar Serena Williams and former LA Galaxy player David Beckham, now a co-owner of Inter Miami CF.
Miami 🏎 pic.twitter.com/Q1Icuh2NNC— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) May 6, 2022
Love was also in the air in South Beach. At the Miami Grand Prix qualifiers Saturday, a spectating fan popped the question to his partner. The moment is great, but the support from the fan in the background is even better.
We are all the lady in the back right now. 🥳— F1 Miami Grand Prix (@f1miami) May 7, 2022
Congratulations to you both! 💍 pic.twitter.com/aF1RgiNqNT
On Sunday, Hamilton, Jordan, Beckham and Brady posed for a picture. TB12 went with "LFG" but "greatness" would have also sufficed for a caption.
NHL - Florida Panthers
The Panthers started their quest for a Stanley Cup Tuesday, facing the Washington Capitals in their first-round matchup. The Panthers finished the regular season first in the Eastern Conference and had the second-highest odds to win the championship on May 2 per Caesars (+500). The squad received good-luck wishes from the Heat ahead of its first playoff game.
On top of the social media support, Heat veteran Udonis Haslem showed up to Game 1 to cheer on the Panthers.
FLA Live Arena, the team's home stadium, added some new cuisine options in honor of the postseason.
All NEW playoff food items available at select locations! 🤤 pic.twitter.com/DDO3J9wrHx— FLA Live Arena (@FLALiveArena) May 3, 2022
The Panthers lost 4-2 in Game 1 on Tuesday but rebounded with a 5-1 victory on Thursday. Game 3 didn't bring the same success, as Washington trounced Florida 6-1.
NBA - Miami Heat
The Heat had a pretty successful week, starting with guard Tyler Herro. On Tuesday, the 22-year-old was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year, receiving 96 first-place votes. Herro's 20.7 points per game off the bench were the most since Lou Williams' 22.6 PPG when he won the hardware during the 2017-18 season, per ESPN Stats & Information research.
6ix man pic.twitter.com/3k55gXMkpC— Tyler Herro (@raf_tyler) May 3, 2022
Miami led its series versus the Sixers 2-0 heading into the weekend, thanks to impactful performances from Herro, Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Victor Oladipo. It was Oladipo's 30th birthday on May 4 and he had quite the performance that night. He dropped 19 points, 10 of those coming in the fourth quarter. Forward P.J. Tucker's birthday was on Thursday, and what better way to celebrate than with a win.
🔊 Homecourt protected with the Wades in the building pic.twitter.com/5zu1Z1vxeB— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 5, 2022
Colombian soccer star James Rodriguez stopped by courtside to watch Miami play Wednesday. Former Heat guard Dwyane Wade was also in attendance for Game 2, fresh off his appearance at the Met Gala. Butler shouted out Wade and his family after the win.
What a way to celebrate your 30th birthday 🥳— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) May 5, 2022
Vic helped us seal the win with 10 points in the 4th, 19 overall pic.twitter.com/4o0lKeBSDZ
The Heat fell to the Sixers 99-79 on Friday, but they still have the 2-1 series advantage heading into Game 4 on Sunday.