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. eightysix

    I'm anything but a heat fan, but I have to say Cleveland fans can't say that the joke is on them... they made it to the finals. cleveland lost like 150 games in a row or something

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

      you clearly missed the point by a mile...

      June 13, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      No, Clevelanders miss the point. Their town still has the worst team in professional basketball by a mile and Lebron is still infinitely closer to a championship than he could have been surrounded by the bums in on the Cavs. Lebron didn't choke, he lost to a better team that was hot. Cleveland can't beat anyone and probably won't make the playoffs this decade, while Lebron will keep competing for rings. Hope Dan Gilbert is happy Lebron made it to the NBA Finals and lost, because everyone is happy to see his team lose more than any other in the NBA.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  2. tobin

    Good game!!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. boka

    I wanted to like Lebron James. He has all the talent in the world to be amazing. But he is a quitter. He has no heart. And is a choker. He's proved that now. We call him LeFraud here in Philly.

    Good for you Mark Cuban and the Mavs. Congrats.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      So, what do you call the iggles after they lose several NFC championships and a SB in a few years?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Shamrock6

      They call it......typical.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • philly flip

      Hey boka, don't you mean LePhraud?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  4. SHUT THE HELL UP CLEVELAND

    Get over it. So he chose to go somewhere else. Cry a river. I'm so sick of hearing about it. And tell your owner to keep his mouth shut. He sounds like a complete fool.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • philly flip

      It's the way he went about doing it dude.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Emen William Garcia

      Says the bandwagoning lover of losers

      June 13, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. TJ

    I think the question as to who is better, Jordan or LeBron, has been answered!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • shawn

      Not really...how many years did it take MJ to even get in the finals let alone a ring?

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

      Note to Scotty Pippin... Think before opening your mouth...

      June 13, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • TGL

      MJ got his first of 6 rings in his 7th season.. James is in his 8th season..

      June 13, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • ex heat fan

      scottie pippen is 10x what lebron could ever be

      June 13, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • KW

      MJ had two rings at this point and was far more talented. I wouldn't even compare Lebron to Kobe at this point. Heck, I think Wade is the best player on their team.

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

      It toook him 7 years and he won 6 with 6 mvps. Lebron is no where near MJ. Period. If the Heat would have won, Wade would have gotten the mvp, not Lebron. So it is answered.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Donny McClellan

      6. James has been playing how many years...

      June 13, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  6. L.A.R

    What a bunch of hypocritical souls! LBJ played his contract out in Cleveland and he did what EVERYONE here would have done: Go play for the biggest amount of money with the biggest talent, you don't just play for the love of the game, you play to win Championships!!! Yes, it looks like he laid down last couple of games but "The Decision' and leaving Cleveland etc etc. had nothing to with that. Cleveland's a sad sports town, even the Indians couldn't hold an 8 game lead!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. K

    "King" James? More like "Jester" James. Nice locker room shot of Bosh crying like his "My Little Pony" doll broke a leg., too. Awesome. Enjoy the summer !!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. p-did

    yeah...laugh cleveland...oh by the way how did you do in the playoffs?
    you didn't make it you say?
    hmmm....

    June 13, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. skip wilson

    Everytime I read something about Lebron James and his failures coming from the Cleveland prespective. I can't help but think that all Lebron is doing is reflecting the values that Cleveland fans put in him. Cleveland when you see Lebron you see yourselves. Look in the mirror. You are the enabler. What do you expect from a twenty year old!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  10. Kevin in Atlanta

    Cleveland, seriously, get over it. Instead of ripping on LeBron for leaving, how about you actually field a good team. The best revenge in sports is beating your opponents. Until Cleveland can start to do that on a regular basis, they will continue to look like the psycho ex-girlfriend that can't get over the guy that dumped her...

    June 13, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  11. No comparison

    Everyone can stop comparing LeBron to MJ now.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  12. Rick

    Revel in it now Cleveland...You have never won anything and never will...Not with your jerk-off owner...Lebron may never win a Championship...but Cleveland won't either...Cleveland was a loser with Lebron and is still a loser without him...Nothing will change...

    June 13, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jack

    Guess all those empty seats in Cleveland before and after James left Cleveland means there are no "bandwagon" fans in Cleveland... The whole NBA is made up of fake fans for a fake sport...

    June 13, 2011 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  14. Tim K.

    It's not THAT he left Cleveland .. it's HOW he left . " With me , Wade & Bosh championships will come easy " .. Hey LeBron .. get over your bad self , chump !

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

      did you miss the fact that they strolled into the finals easily in the first year together?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Donny McClellan

      Rob – but they didn't win, did they? not that easy after all (or did you miss THAT point?)

      June 13, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • JD

      Yes it is the way he left. I think cavs fans (and i am not one of them) wouldnt have had such a problem if he just simply called a press conf in cleveland thanked the fans for all the years together and said he is going to Miami this season, then have a press conf there with bosh and wade signed there. it would have been painful for cleveland but respectful. NO this LeEgo dude pushed by Jim Grey (has he done anything else since the decison lol) did a one hour special on himself showing how great he is stuck it hard to cleveland by slaping them in the face by taking his talents to south beach then after all the neg they throw a rock style concert party there with him saying he will win 5 or 6 championships there. he may will win some there still but he has to humble himself and relaize that it takes a team to win not just him. MJ and Kobe got it hell u saw even Dirk gets it. until he does he will be nothing but a great player who chokes in the playoffs and the man needs to grow the hell up. laughing at dirk was stupid.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. damon

    Why r we congradulating cleveland the ain't make playoffs and labron stops talkin and just play he might win one and to scottie pippin labron better then jordan u just mad because without jordin u wouldn't have won 6 championships

    June 13, 2011 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • T

      Uhhh spell check? Or do you think that is how you spell?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • JordanHasSix

      Wow. Fantastic grammar. Your mother would be proud.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • duh

      Are you slow?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
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