Many champions are self-motivated yet soak up the words of people they respect.

It's hard to believe there was anyone better to address the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat for a little pep talk at their first mainland practice than Floyd Mayweather Jr.

The undefeated boxing champion spoke to the Heat during their Sunday morning practice at the American Airlines Arena. His words landed like a right cross.

"With him being 17 years and 0 . . . we're trying to defend two titles he's been defending for a long time" forward LeBron James said. "So he definitely knows where we're coming from."

"It's different when you're the champ in boxing -- you're the baddest man on the planet" guard Dwyane Wade said. "There are other sports teams that have won … but there's only one champion in boxing."

The Heat got back to work after last week's training camp in the Bahamas. Mayweather joined owner Micky Arison in welcoming the team on their practice facility at the Triple-A.

Wade owner of three championship rings said he appreciated Mayweather's message.

"From one champion to another he just talked about him being proud at how we handled ourselves" Wade said. "He knows as a champion how hard it is to go out there every night and compete when someone's trying to take you down and take what what you worked for."

The Heat in perhaps the Big Three's final go-round are expected to face increased competition as they aim for a third straight title. The Indiana Pacers Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls are among the Eastern Conference foes who figure to contend.