When the Dallas Mavericks finished off the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night, the happiness in Dallas may have been eclipsed in only one place, Cleveland, the city that Heat star LeBron James left to take his talents to South Beach.
CNN affiliate WOIO-TV in Cleveland had a one-word headline on its sports page under a picture of James holding up his Heat jersey: "LOSER!"
"LeBron James still has no rings," the site's story began.
Cleveland.com quickly jumped on James' failure to bring a championship to Miami, something he promised would happen multiple times when he and former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh joined Heat superstar Dwayne Wade in Miami.
The site posted a video of James, Wade and Bosh made as Miami celebrated their arrival last July.
"It looks even sillier after the Dallas Mavericks clinched the NBA title with their win at Miami tonight," the site says. "Hear James say, 'The way we're gonna challenge each other to get better in practice, once the game starts, I mean it's gonna be easy.'
"Best of all, hear James count up of how many championships Miami will win. No limit."
Cavs fans may be chuckling over that Monday morning, but Yahoo! Sports Dan Wetzel writes they were laughing at James as they watched from a Cleveland bar during Sunday night's game.
"A crowd of Clevelanders gathered here to watch their onetime hero turned all-time traitor, and with each disinterested LeBron offensive possession, each failed LeBron chase down of Jason Terry, each embarrassing LeBron crunch-time turnover, the prevailing emotion was simple.
"They weren’t hating LeBron here. They were laughing at him," Wetzel writes.
SI.com's Michael Rosenberg says James needs to take the loss the right way, with a heavy dose of humility that is needed to achieve true greatness.
"I hope he acknowledges that he brought this criticism upon himself and, I hope he admits it publicly and candidly. ... But after a year of being hated, LeBron can change and show the humility and desire we admire in all of our best athletes."
As far as becoming a true champion, James could learn a lesson from the Mavericks and their star, NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, writes Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Jennifer Floyd Engel.
"On its very best day, the game is about a guy like Dirk refusing to quit, to give into the doubt, to fail. And his guys, like (Mavs' coach Rick) Carlisle and (teammate Jason) Terry, backing him up. And not about an egomaniacal athlete named LeBron."
SI.com's Chris Mannix writes that Nowitzki's Mavericks won as a team and James' Heat "abandoned any semblance of a team game in favor of selfish, one-on-one play."
SI.com's Ian Thomsen points out that in getting his first NBA title, Nowitzki took a course that James rejected.
"He had drawn strength from playing with the same teammates year after year. Altogether he and they built a championship team that James and his newly assembled Heat could not beat. As far as they had come in one season together, they hadn't had enough time to resolve issues that had taken the Mavericks' several years to overcome," Thomsen writes.
As the game finished Sunday night, Nowitzki bolted off the court in Miami's American Airlines Arena toward the visitor's locker room. He wanted to cry alone, writes ESPN.com's Marc Stein.
"I could already feel the tears coming," Stein quotes Nowtizki as saying. "I had to recover, bro."
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said in an ESPN interview that Nowitzki "had the heart of a lion." Watch what else he had to say about his team's first NBA championship.
While Cuban was talkative Sunday night, he changed his form and stayed out of the spotlight during his team's playoff run, writes Jeff Caplan on ESPNDallas.com.
And now he has an NBA championship trophy and apparently he's not letting go of it. At least that's what it looks like on his Twitpic account.
One of those congratulating Cuban was Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert who posted on his Twitter account: "Congrats to Mark C. & entire Mavs org. Mavs NEVER stopped & now entire franchise gets rings. Old Lesson for all: There are NO SHORTCUTS. NONE."
Even a former Cavalier, Los Angeles Clippers guard Mo Williams, was happy to see his old teammate James without a championship ring.
"Dallas just healed my HEART," Williams tweeted.
Half a world away, hearts were cheered too in Wurzburg, Germany, where fans of the NBA Finals MVP and hometown hero Dirk Nowitzki partied into the night, CNN affiliate WFAA reported.
And at least Cavaliers fan had a warning for a possible finals fallout:
"Just be careful when shipping the Miami Heat champs T-shirts to the poor in Guatemala," NBA.com quoted Avon, Ohio's, Nathan Obral as saying. "They could be a choking hazard."
Cleveland needs to worry about how there going to get at least 30 wins next year.
Well, at least the Heat got a new theme song out of it:
Well. I am sick of being involved in the rant bout the cavs and the heat and the mavs. Now i must move on. The world of sports is what it is a world.
I know why the Cleveland Fans hate LeBron but get over it – You guys have the meanest spirit I've ever seen – I never want to coem to Cleveland – He left he doesn't owe you anything – Its his life and I leve in Los Angeles and love the Lakers but i was all for the HEAT to beat Dallas – Again, Cleveland get over it and move on – There was never going to be championship in Cleveland get real – no matter who played there – You guys have the meanest spirit ever
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I really beivlee he was just saying that the Miami Heat losing might make a bunch of fans very happy, but it really doesn't affect their day-to-day lives, at all.
So does your boyfriend.
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