Cleveland Cavaliers celebrated their NBA Finals triumph with a visit to the White House - and a Mannequin Challenge with the First Lady.

The Cavs, who rallied from behind to defeat the Golden State Warriors and end a Cleveland pro sports title drought stretching back to 1964 earlier this year, enjoyed a presidential welcome on Thursday.

And they made the most of the occasion, filming two separate challenges in which all involved hold a pose as if frozen in time.

It was all part of a playful event at the White House which lifted the mood after the Democrats' defeat in the US election.


Obama honoured the Cavs on the South Lawn, squeezing in another sports champion before he leaves office. He opened with: 'That's right. I said world champion and Cleveland in the same sentence.'

The Cavs came back from a 3-1 deficit to win the championship against a Warriors team that set an NBA record for wins during the regular season.

'The first team in history to dig themselves out of a hole like that,' Obama said. 'The comeback was remarkable, and you learn about people when they're down.'

Obama singled out several players for praise, but particularly focused on LeBron James, who won the Most Valuable Player award during the championship series.

Obama called James one of the greatest players of all time and said it's not just power and speed that make James great, but his unselfishness and work ethic. 'You saw it in those last three games,' the president said.

Obama said the Cavs also exemplified a growing generation of athletes who are using their platforms to speak out. He noted, as examples, that Kevin Love has worked to combat sexual assault and James has worked to reduce gun violence.

He said the team met earlier Thursday with Attorney General Loretta Lynch and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett to discuss steps the Cavs are taking to help build better relations between law enforcement and the Cleveland community.

'It is part of a league-wide effort to build stronger communities all across the country, including holding open conversations so we can begin to bridge divides,' Obama said.

He also gave a shout out to player Iman Shupert, who delivered his wife Teyana Taylor's baby this year when she went into labour early at their home.

'Now that was an all star move,' Mr Obama said.

Shupert's wife was with him for the visit on Thursday, and dressed up as civil rights activist Angela Davis.

She posted a picture of herself posing in front of former First Lady Clinton's official portrait at the White House, writing 'Who gone stop us?'

The Cavs' trip to Washington has been planned for weeks. Coach Tyronn Lue, who received a phone call in June from Obama shortly after Cleveland rallied to beat Golden State in the NBA Finals, wanted the visit to happen before the first African-American president left office.

Last year, the previous champs (Golden State), visited the White House the February after their win, meaning a similar meeting for this year's winners could have taken place during a new administration.

Cleveland play at Washington on Friday night.