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. Awwyeah

    Cleveland Fans are idiots. Regardless of what anyone says, there were 28 teams siiting on the couch watching the game. He left cleveland and went to the NBA Finals the next year. He can go to the finals the next 8 years straight and never win one but atleast he went. With the Heat he has the opportunity that he didn't with Cleveland. He made the right decision.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      He went to the finals twice with Cleveland. Check your facts again.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Comon Sense

      Actually he went to the finals ONCE in Cleveland. Check YOUR facts.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • JOn

      This series will FOREVER seal the deal – Jordan is the supreme. He would never whine like this loser and poser. I predict he will never get a ring-Jordan can give him one of his six :]

      June 13, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Michelle, educate me. When did he go for the second time with Cleveland?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Moose Knuckle

      Is it Witness or Witless? Getting there means nothing, moron!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Paul NYC

    Hubris has a way of coming back to let you know who's in charge.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Jojo

      Actually Nemesis shows Hubris who's in charge. Hubris bends over and takes it.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sam

    Lebron definitely went further then the crappy cavaliers did and knowing dallas whip the lakers ass and having my little man from Puerto Rico on the winning team, its all good with me...

    June 13, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Moose Knuckle

      Did you even attend school?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bill Johnson

    Heck, LeBron could have done the same thing (lost in the Finals) if he stayed in Cleveland and would have been a lot more popular.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Labron Jewon

    Stop talking about me. I know I suck suckatard and suckatash. Love, LaBRON

    June 13, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Ian

      Who is LaBron?

      June 13, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  6. Harry James

    LeBron may have lost, but the Cavaliers still suck. And, they'll never get the to championship.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Moose Knuckle

      So, what you are saying is they both suck?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  7. Andy

    It's hard to believe the people of Cleveland are so butt hurt over some over-paid, arrogant athlete leaving their team to play somewhere else that they are deriving joy from a loss by that team, to the point that newspapers feel the need to use the front page to call people names. He doesn't play for Cleveland anymore, it's a freaking game, get over it.

    You "die-hard" sports fans are pathetic. Maybe next time you wont put people like this on a pedestal so when they inevitably do something stupid or arrogant you aren't so upset.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Mickey

      True enough but he was a home-town hero and that makes all the difference. He was still making millions in Cleveland and he dumped his home-town, that's what makes it funny. That and the fact he was so arrogant about it and now – still no championship.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. Kevin

    This article is a little on the ridiculous side. Dallas won the series. Most of the Maverick players have been playing together for several years. This is Miami's first year as a new team with the big three. They made it to the playoff final. That is a great achievement in itself. As far as the Cleveland Cavs are concerned. I would have never known that ONE player would be the WHOLE TEAM! ???? Lebron is a pro basketball player. It is his career and his job. He chose to work and play for another organization. No different then someone leaving Google to work at Facebook. Lebron felt like his opportunities and upside are better at Miami vs Cleveland. The real world folks. I am not a big pro basketball fan, but you can deny one thing. Lebron is a winner! And every team he plays for is a contender for the ring. PERIOD.
    CHEERS!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • duckz86

      Well said.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Comon Sense

      Well said indeed.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Moose Knuckle

      How do you define, winner? Idiot!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill Johnson

      LeBron is not a winner. Winners make everyone around them better so the team is greater than the sum of individual talent. Michael Jordan was definitely a winner. Other than Pippen, he had a team of role players and made them all achieve greatness.

      LeBron doesn't understand that yet. He just understands that he is the center of the universe and that we should all bow down to his greatness. In other words, he is a loser.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      Word, Kevin. It cracks me up that these jack@sses feel like they're important enough to have a basketball great make decisions with them in mind. His goal is not to please you, get over yourselves...

      June 13, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Kells

      Taking a job you think will advance your career is fine, if you do it professionally. In any job, it would be frowned upon to leave without giving adequate notice so your vacancy can be filled. It would be particularly unprofessional to make a public spectacle of your decision. It's been said over and over, it's now THAT he left, but HOW. That said, I hope he can learn from this, and live up to the potential we all saw in him coming up in Akron, and giving Cleveland 7 good years. Not everyone in Cleveland hates him, some of us just think he needs to learn a little humility.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lydia

      Pretty sure when I quit my job, I don't do an hour long announcement on how special I am and then, when I get to my new job announce to everyone there that I will be CEO by the end of the year....If I did, I am pretty sure everyone there would think I'm an arrogant a**, and would PROBABLY laugh if I failed in that endeavour. Do you get it? Nobody has a problem with leaving jobs, IT IS HOW HE LEFT. WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET THAT THROUGH TO YOU LEBRON DEFENDERS. WE HATE HIM BECAUSE HE IS AN ARROGANT JERK!

      June 13, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. quinton

    Cleveland still sucks so what difference does it makes.....America is hypocritical because Lebron is the ultimate team player....thats what we teach kids growing up is to be team players and thats what he does...he passes the ball to open players.. is he Jordan? of course not but we need to remember that he is only 26.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Moose Knuckle

      Quinton, get back in the basement.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mike W

    Cracks me up how Cleveland can't seem to get over it and move on with their lives.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      it's CLEVELAND....what else are they supposed to do? This is all that stands between them and suicide....

      June 13, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. Nota Fan

    You're saying people in Cleveland are genuinely happy to see someone fail just because he went somewhere else? That's pretty sick.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      The people of cleveland still haven't realized that the intro to the Drew Carey show was intentionally SARCASTIC!

      June 13, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. DoubleTap

    LEBRON played a solid game, so did Bosch and Wade, better luck next year! You have 5 months to execute a PR campaign getting your heads out of your behinds, use your time off wisely...

    June 13, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  13. shawn

    GET OVER IT CLEVELAND............JUST GET OVER IT!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jokersmile

    James has turned the NBA into a circus. Go away James you are hated and you are a child in a mans body. You will never measure up to the greatest list. Give it up brah..you're done.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • MarkEmark

      Nope, that would be you and your no-life minions. If you all shut the hell up about him, he wouldn't get all this press time, but you waste so much energy hating him lol Why would he give up? He's played ONE season with the heat. You should probably give up on life.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. stillin

    Coach Rick Carlisle is from our small school here in LIsbon, N.Y. Although I wasn't in this school when he was, I teach here now, and I would like to say all the kids are crazy proud that he came out of our little area and achieved such a big win. We were out to dinner last night up here, northern N.Y. and it was just a few of us out but the talk was if HE can come out of here and accomplish what he has , then Anybody can become anything they want in life. It was an awesome achievement.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
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