Heat grant 8-year-old fan belated birthday wish

Sun, Dec 5

MIAMI -- Christian Liebert's 8th birthday was a disaster.

The Miami Heat fixed it six weeks later.

Christian had plans to celebrate his birthday night of Oct. 22 at an NBA preseason game in his hometown of Tampa, Fla., watching his favorite player -- LeBron James -- and the Heat play against the Orlando Magic. He told his parents he didn't want a party, just tickets, and they obliged with ones near midcourt.

The seats would have been perfect. The game was never played. That was the contest canceled by slippery court conditions, and the boy went home in tears.

"We did not know what to do," the boy's mother, Christina Liebert, said.

The Heat did.

Moved by a letter his mother wrote about what her son felt like the night of the canceled game, team officials arranged for tickets for the Liebert family to see Saturday's game in Miami against the Atlanta Hawks, along with a hotel stay and some other souvenirs. The family sat courtside for a portion of the pregame, in the very seats the Heat players would occupy during the game. Several players and assistant coaches stopped to say hello, and Christian posed for some photos.

"If you had told me on Oct. 23 when we woke up that there would be a happy ending to this story, I would have been hard-pressed," Christina Liebert said. "For him, it's unbelievable."

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