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. Mike

    Cleveland may laugh now, but it will likely be Lebron who laughs last and laughs the hardest.....losing in Game 6 of NBA finals was not exactly a bad season......

    June 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Steve

    @ Drew...Why did you abuse so many words to display your racism? Any public figure who diplays arrogance, ignorance, and narrcissism in public is inviting the kind of criticism that Mr. James seems to enjoy.

    June 14, 2011 at 12:06 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. No FL Vacations

    For all you people who insist that Miami is sooooo great, not just in NBA team, but in every other way too, here's my proclamation: Whereas I do not want to...

    a) Die of skin cancer;
    b) Be eaten by a shark;
    c) Be eaten by an alligator;
    d) Be eaten by a Burmese python; or
    e) Be drowned, torn to pieces and carried out to sea by a hurricane;

    I will not be setting foot in the place, EVER!

    They're having more problems with these things than ever before in the last few years. I've read instances where the gators actually came OUT of the water and attacked the person on land!

    Maybe they really shouldn't have killed Teri the way the did!

    June 14, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Dustin

    Lebron “Queen” James is “still” a high school student stuck in a grown man’s body. I can be empathetic in understanding that the fame, and money can definitely change a person’s ego, yet when is this guy going to become truly an emotionally intelligent adult? Like many other celebrities what does he contribute to society besides entertainment value, he is nothing more than a consumer breeding vacuum? He bounces an orange ball on a basketball court, he was cradled as a godlike figure before he could grow a pube stache on his face. Lebron never experienced the unadulterated opportunities of the college experience or never felt the real world independence of struggle in order to face the humility of living. He may contradict that he grew up in struggle, but what has he ever done for himself besides train for basketball? There may be a lot more athletes in the world if more people cared less about education and more about sporting events, and this is because people are rational. Lebron probably couldn’t even pass an intermediate math and science exam. I am not saying that he is not a talented athlete but, I would prefer if he crawled back up in his mother’s womb and incubated a little longer. I partially blame his mother for his narcissistic personality because she isn’t exactly a saint either, she is merely a contributor to the issue and acts as if she is god’s gift and carries a level of importance because of her son’s inflated status.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Cuban

    @ Dustin well said i couldn't agree with you more. The man needs to crawl back into his mothers womb for some more incubation. He's the most arrogant, disrespectful, ignorant selfish, etc athelete i have come across. How dare he turns areound and insults his fans who pay him... acting like he's the king and has it all yet has achieved nothing. How dare he turn around and say all his haters will wake up the next day with their same personal problems and while he continues with his life................. and who has given him this life and money if not his fans and his Creator? He cannot even take a minute to thank God this creator who has seen him through all this prob? I 'm sorry but i truly truly hate this lebron thing. Unless lebron humbles himself and seeks we regular peeps forgiveness LEBRON it wil take you a long time before you achieve that ring and dream. All i have to say PRIDE COMES BEFORE A FALL. DALLAS HAS PUT MIAMI IN IT'S PLACE. Take it Miami the trophy is in DALLAS.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Slamman007

    If I could tell Lebron one thing, because he is a gifted and blessed young man, it would be this. At the end of the game, the KING and the PAWN go into the same box. Here endeth the lesson. God Bless and be well Lebron.

    June 14, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. PeoplesElbow

    LoL. Hey Clevend, what's so funny when your team is the second worst in the NBA? I find that even more funny than Lebron losing in the NBA Finals. And now you're laughing at someone who made it into the Playoffs and had a CHANCE at the Championship? LoL. And trust me, I'm not a Lebron fan either. But I'm sure that next season, the Heat will make it back into the Playoffs and what about the Cavs? Not a chance.

    June 14, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. The Ril

    Cleveland fans are dumb.......your team was the worst team in the NBA.....his team won the Eastern Conference, and was this close to a championship.....Retarded story!

    June 14, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brian Gold

      amen.

      June 15, 2011 at 2:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark McKee

      Close...so close. Which of course, only counts in hand grenades. I think if LeBron hadn't been there, Miami would have had a chance to beat Dallas. Which brings me to my next point. They don't put you in the HOF for overhyped media coverage & $90 million rookie shoe deals. LeBron is quickly erasing himself from the history of the game, and blowing his chances at the HOF. Thank God he has more money than Jesus. Oh, and most of that money came from the pockets of hard working Cleveland fans, so they have every right to mop the floor with his guts. If he doesn't like it, he can always pursue another profession which is every American's right.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bill

    The people in Cleveland, they may be laughing, but they are still stuck in Cleveland.

    Lebron got outta there.

    June 14, 2011 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Brian Gold

    61 wins with LeBron James... 63 Losses without him... I wouldn't be laughing Cleveland.. I'd probably be crying.

    June 15, 2011 at 2:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Jorge

    the fact that people cord celebrate about somebody losing shows you the lack of character in and of it selves, we must congratulate the Mays, but we must be graceful to does that lost, that my friends is character, revence is for the cowards that seek to inflict pain from the past, show some character people

    June 15, 2011 at 8:12 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • busto

      you u have it all, wat awesum choice of wisdom indeed

      June 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • English Teacher

      You are ignorant of basic English grammar structure. Come back when you cab create a coherent post.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lolwut

      COME BACK WHEN YOU "CAB" MAKE A COHERENT STATEMENT.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lolwut

      IM HELLA LATE, but who cares.

      September 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MPN

    Cleveland needs to concentrate on building a team and not what happened in the past. LaBron will win a championship before they will! LaBron is already a winner.

    June 15, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Don't be mad

    Who cares about how and why Lebron left Cleveland and all you people mad at him really need to get a life. None of us are getting the money that young man makes and I really think he doesn't care what anyone thinks. So if you decided to spend your day with anger and resentment at someone who is porbably sitting some where having fun while you people sit in front of your computers arguing back and forth, that to me is a waste of life. All the energy put into putting down Lebron is not going to change one thing except to make you unhappy. And you can say what you want about feeling good about this, but in your heart you know the truth. My advice is to use that negative energy in a psoitive way to help you of a friend or another family member.

    June 15, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. anonymous

    ...and the whole world laughs a Cleveland!

    June 15, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. anonymous

    ... and th whole world laughs at Cleveland!

    June 15, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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