Barack and Michelle Obama Welcome LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to the White House


The 2016 NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers were given a hero's welcome at the White House on Thursday, as President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama congratulated the team on their come-from-behind victory back in June.

"Cleveland was always Believeland," the president said on the South Lawn of the White House. "That's why the Cavs have always given back to their fans and the community that's been so loyal to them."

WATCH: LeBron James and the Cavaliers Celebrate in Las Vegas Before Heading Back to Cleveland

The commander in chief acknowledged the hardships that Cleveland sports fans have faced over the years to get to this moment, citing "The Drive" (the Browns' 1986 AFC Championship loss to the Denver Broncos when quarterback John Elway marched his team 98 yards to victory), "The Fumble" (the Browns' loss in the following AFC Championship game, where running back Earnest Byner lost control of the ball just yards shy of the end zone with less than two minutes left in the game) and "The Shot" (Michael Jordan's buzzer beater over Cleveland Cavalier Craig Ehlo in Game 1 of the 1989 Eastern Conference playoffs that seemed to shift the momentum of the series).

"That's what we're talking about when we talk about hope and change," POTUS joked.

In quite a turnaround, the Cavs became the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-1 deficit in the finals when they defeated the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in a spectacular Game 7 on June 19.

The win erased a 52-year title drought for the city of Cleveland, which at that time was the only American city with three major sports teams who hadn't won a title in the past half century.

PICS: Donald and Melania Trump Meet With Barack and Michelle Obama at the White House

The reigning champs are led by team captain LeBron James, who endorsed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton the Sunday before Election Day at a rally in Cleveland.

The 31-year-old Finals MVP snapped a selfie with the first lady, which he immediately posted to Instagram, writing, "Just messing around with FLOTUS!! Really @realcfryel!?!? Come a long way from Akron man! So damn blessed and humbled."

Earlier in the day, Clinton's Republican rival, President-elect Donald Trump, visited the White House with his wife, Melania.

Trump referred to the president as a "very good man," and said that he would seek "counsel" from him.

Find out more about their meeting in the Oval Office by watching the video below.