Clevelanders laughing as LeBron loses
LeBron James reacts during Sunday night's NBA Finals game against the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki is at rear.
June 13th, 2011
08:02 AM ET

Clevelanders laughing as LeBron loses

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.

"Laughter.

"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."

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Filed under: Basketball • Cleveland • LeBron James • NBA • Ohio • Sports
soundoff (1,422 Responses)
  1. Greg Kells

    Seems like a lot of people on here bashing Cleveland because of a few meatheads still worried about LeBron. Trust me, most of us could care less, and none of us are jealous of miami. Our civic pride comes from our history and our people. Cleveland is a proud and diverse community that obviously offers enough to keep some of the best chef's, artists, and musicians in the country here. While it's true that LeBron acted like a spoiled little diva, most of us are not all that concerned. It's just nice to know that it didn't pay off the way he expected.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. YOS27X

    Lebron should go back to Greenwich, CT at the same YMCA to apologize and admit he made a mistake! There should not be a comparison between Lebron and Jordan; Lebron has no class!

    June 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim

      Well said!..... "But he gave so much money for the decision to the kids there". Lechoke has enough money to have given them 2 million bucks and it wouldn't have dented his pocket. Instead he looked like a complete fool in self loathing. You get what you give! Biggest mistake of your life LeChoke!

      June 13, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. winsome1

    What some of you aren't hearing or able to grasp is that people don't dislike or even hate Lebron BECAUSE he left Cleveland; it was the WAY he choose to do it with "the Decision". In doing so, he made his egomaniacal self feel more important than anyone could or should be. And he continues to set himself up for more grief with his mouth that works a lot faster than his brain ever has.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Sumofmynieses

    Mr. Michael Jordan is still the best clutch player to have ever played prfessional basketbal, PERIOD.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Bshotts

    The biggest D bag of them all here is Scottie Pippen. Scottie knifed the guy who brought him 6 rings, for LowBron??? Really Scottie? Really! Scottie should get a pair of cement shoes for those comments....and yes I am white with a huge man crush on a 6'6" black man. MJ forever.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. TiredODaCrap

    The past two post-seasons have proven two things – Lebron's rank as an "all time great" and his maturity up until now have been greatly over-exaggerated!

    June 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim

      An all time great talent who can never win the big one because he doesn't have what it takes to be a champion. I agree.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Jason Kidd and Marion left the Phoenix Suns so they could win a championship and there will be many other players that will leave Cleveland to win a championship, it happens all the time. And guess what LeBron is still getting paid big bucks, how much are the people in Cleveland getting paid to laugh. ZERO.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • AVI

      I predict that both James and Wade will earn less money next year. They will have to in order to get a better bench that can help them win. It is obvious they can't do it by themselves. Also they will make less cuz I won't ever buy a shirt from either of these two. If enough people do this, they won't "still make their money" like you say. I think you are arrogant just like they are.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • johnny america

      Cleveland sucks and Lebron wanted to move to a better city in a far better state. Making it to the finals is not a small feat and they will be back. Cleveland now has nothing, as its always had, and can laugh all they want but Lebron knew he made the right decision even with the loss. His team made it to the finals the year he moved there. Dallas hit 3's when they needed to and Bosh and James fumbled the ball when they didnt need to. Bottom line is that its only a matter of time before Miami wins a championship, meanwhile the tools in ohio will have to sit there and root for the browns, indians and cavs and trying to forget they live in ohio

      June 13, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marlon

      Ok Claudia. Tell them whats up! The Ohio jinx is on tap. lebron is still a good player no matter what others think about them.

      June 16, 2011 at 4:34 am | Report abuse |
  8. Keith

    Cleveland and laugh all they want to but they had a garbage season and Miami made it to the NBA Finals. Lebron played 7 seaons in Cleveland and only made it to the Finals once and lost all four games. He comes to the Heat and makes it to the Finals in his first season with them and this time won 2 games in the Finals. Miami will upgrade on their center and point guard and bench and they will be back to the Finals next year. Miami won in 2006 with their second season with Shaq. Not their first. As for 2011, Dallas deserved it this year. They played great well rounded ball. Team ball. They got the rebounds and loose balls and made their shots look easy. I don't think they will be back in the Finals next year. Wouldn't rule them out. But they are the oldest team in the league. 10 of their 15 guys are over 30. Unless some leave and Dallas goes young.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bshotts

      Salary cap Sucka!!! CELTICS put another one in the rafters next year!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. stephen

    im from austin,the real lbj turned over in his grave last night,that would be lyndon baines johnson (36th president of the united states)for all you 8th grade dropouts on here.....

    June 13, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Cleveland?

    This is really a sad situation. I am appalled that some of the people are reacting this way. I cannot believe what has been repeorted as headlines in this city. I am not a basketball fan, but I am a person that sees bitterness and resentment towards a man that is free to make his own decisions about his career and life. To see this article in CNN is horrible as well. No one should be treated this way for any reson. The term "owner of a team" does not imply that he/she owns anyone literally. This is what is implied when I see this type of behavior. If you wanted him to stay in Cleveland, you should have built a team that could have won a championship. If anyone is a loser, it is the person that would think this type of behavior is acceptable. I know that everyone in this city does not feel this way, but it is a poor reflection of your beautiful city.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Think Deeper

      You're stupid

      June 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      "am not a basketball fan"
      Why are you even commenting then? You obviously know very little of what's going on.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • crazyk01

      Then move out of it cause your prob one out of the whole hmmmm 12 people that feel that way and he is his own person but when he as a star has the power to go on national television and not just put down the city's team and yes they been playing poorly. But he put down the city of Cleveland when we are the ones who payed and made him without us he wouldn't even had a job to (begin) with. but yet he still decided it was OK to put our city down and you side with that Then get the f&*% OUT!!!!!!!! That's why we hate on him because that's are way of telling him what we think of him because we cant jump on tv and talk sh&t like he can so we let him know this way so when it comes to where he works that's fine and dandy but when it comes to talking sh&t about the people who started his career then we got the right to say what we want as do you but if you wanna talk crap about this city again like i said leave maybe go visit that loser in Miami

      June 13, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Honest Abe

      you don't undesrtand simply because you're NOT A BASKETBALL FAN!

      June 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Clevelander for Life

      No. You're wrong. Everyone in Cleveland does feel this way as does most of the country. Unless you've been the underdog in every sports venue and business venture and corruption charge you have no idea what it's like to be from Cleveland. Unless you learn to laugh at yourself (and anyone who opens their big mouth and asks to be ridiculed) you will never survive in MY world.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • LJ

      Say what you will, but when your livelihood is contingent on the opinions/regard of others, I'd think you'd keep your mouth shut.... I don't think anyone is upset by what he did – a man's gotta eat... it's the tacky, crass way in which he did it. Fans feel invested in players because they do invest in players.... they spend their hard earned dollars on these men with no expectation of anything in return – respect is the VERY least a player can offer to people that have spent millions of dollars on him. We keep wanting to talk about how fans' lives won't change – let's talk about it.... People spend money to better the life of this man, and what does he do in return? A slap in the face on MTV.... Arrogant remarks EVERY chance he gets that degrade the people that poured their earnings into him. If fans are allowed to praise one player for their actions then they are certainly allowed to disapprove of anothers for theirs. And further, LeBron is not an island of one – he was not self-made, he is not self-sufficient.... his home team and his home court fans helped to bolster his talent, and he'd do well to acknowledge it.

      I'm not from Cleveland. I've never been a LeBron fan.... I'm just saying he has a long way to go before he can be considered greatness. King, my booty. More like jester trying to play a prince. Give the crown to Dirk.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • re: cleveland

      Since you stated that you aren't a fan I understand your reaction. But let me explain to you why people who are fans are so upset with James. Players leave in free agency all the time but they don't have an hour long special to announce their "decision." But that was possibly warranted by the public's interest. The real issue is the huge celebration with fireworks etc. that Miami had before they'd ever played a game (not with the whole team mind you but only the "big 3"). And then just when I was starting to come around to not hating the possibility of James winning a championship he and Wade mocked Dallas's star player for beating them while having an injured finger and a 100+ fever. I think he's young and if he cares about the game and his legacy he'll grow up a little, learn some humility, and let his talents speak for themselves on the court.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tom

    I guess "my talents" that he took to Miami weren't enough to do the trick. Pity.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. LJ

    Congratulations to Dallas – the not so under, underdog! So proud to see seasoned vets get their shot at rings and the championship. And the fact that it was done at the expense of younger, less experienced, more arrogant team makes the victory that much sweeter. For those that see the celebration as mere "hating", look instead at what this really was...... "The Mouth of the Miami" and his 2 sidekicks were put in their place by PROFESSIONAL, EXPERIENCED, MATURE, HUMBLE players. I wish these guys would understand.... you can't be an @$$ in a fan-based industry. Grow up, man up, quit downing the fans that pay your bills LEBRON, and play some ball..... all 4 quarters! Don't tell us about what you do "when the lights are off". For all that, you can stay on the practice court all season. What do you do when the lights are on?!?!?!?!?

    June 13, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. crazyk01

    It aint about where he went our none of that s$%^. It's about the fact that he left and was acting like he was the s&^% and Miami was gonna be his shortcut to a championship ring and he did nothing. he couldn't even back his sh*& up. he grew a big ego to LOSE!!!! and for someone that's talking about hating your a hypocrite. your sitting on here hating on Cleveland which must mean you live in that losing ass city that aint got no championship trophy lmao oyur a sore loser so if anyone should stop whining it should be you .

    June 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  14. ChuckYou2

    The only way LeBron gets a ring is if he finally marries his babies mom.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • michael oiring

      I hope james realizes what a fool he was and still is. Talking like he is g-d gift to the world. now go c how u look moron.

      michael oiring

      June 13, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ChuckYou2

    The only way LeBron gets a ring is if he finally marries his babies mother.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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