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. dadatruth

    Cleveland fans should look at themselves in the mirror. Were the Cavs better or worse without LeBron? They said it would be years before the Heat won the Eastern Conference. The Cleveland fans are the losers. LBJ is disappointed and is crying all the way to the bank. Cavs, Browns, Indians, Losers!!!

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

      C'mon, Le Bron - get off the computer and go shoot some free throws. You need the practice.

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

      How exactly are Cleveland fans losers? Their teams lose, not them. You sound like you're from Boston where everyone their puts self-worth with how their team performs.

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

      there's no bigger loser than the one who has the opportunity to win it all and yet chokes, jokes and blows it. Cleveland never had a chance so their loserhood is a given, but LeBong couldn't even hold in his cough when he took a hit from the douchie. Imagine the world's biggest loser and it's not Cleveland, it's LeBron and his gang of immature thugs in Miami.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • steeve-o

      True, they may have been the ones to help promote the theory, but should've been the first to recognize it's inaccuracy; that LeBron (or that any one player) is the key to winning the NBA Finals. While they only crown one MVP, that person is always most likely going to tell you they couldn't have done it without some great plays made by other team mates (unless that person happens to be Kobe Bryant, he just thinks he's God).

      June 13, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. David

    LEBRON JAMES IS NOTHING MORE THAN A EGOTISTICAL, ARROGANT, CHOKE ARTIST WHO IS OVERRATED BEYOND BELIEF. HE IS NO WHERE WITH THE LIKE OF JORDAN, KOBE, MAGIC, AND BIRD. HE TRIED TO TAKE A SHORTCUT BY PAIRING UP WITH OTHER SUPERSTARS, WHILE LEAVING A CITY THAT LOVED AND PRAISED HIM AND WHO WERE STILL CONTENDERS. CONGRATS TO THE DALLAS MAVERICKS AND DIRK NOWITZSKI.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • miamif1

      Well said...

      June 13, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      contending for top of the draft lottery!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Bubba

      True LBJ is arrogant and somewhat full of himself so why did Clevland want him to stay?. I guess they were ok with it as long as LBJ was theirs. Clevlands fans and BB team make no sense. That is why they dont matter. They dont recognize what makes a team good. That also goes for their FB team. What a joke!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. Andrew

    I'm not too sure why Clevelanders are laughing.... if I was LeBron I'd be laughing at the fact that the Cavaliers went 19-63 this season without the King... sorry Cleveland, maybe Delonte West should have kept his hands off Mrs. James.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Kings needs jewelry....aka...rings.

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

    LeBron's laughing all the way to the bank.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
    • God

      more like crying. and even if money healed all wounds, which it doesn't, he still lacks what it takes to earn the ring, so he'll be relegated to the annals of history wherein they describe the could've should've but never was. No amount of money in the bank can undo that. Besides, he'l;l likely squander his millions like most anyhow.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  5. bawevi

    Lebron even nearly in the same league with Jordan?

    Or with Kobe, Magic, Bird, Wilt, Kareem, Russell?

    Please. He may have some amazing skills and athleticism, but he is missing THE key factor - HEART. Wayyyy too much ego in the way for that. If ANYONE is delusional enough to still be arguing that James is even nearly in the same league with those players, go back and watch how they performed in their key games, even the look on their faces ... the difference between them and Lefraud James is blinding.

    Meanwhile, Dirk and the Mavs demonstrated HEART in spades ... Heart beat $$$ and ego, and this is refreshing. Thanks Mavs!

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

      I completely agree, he's way too arogant and doesn't realize what it really takes to win something like this. He's all in for the show, not for the sport. When the real players come to home court he couldn't take the heat.....anywhere.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. Frank

    I agree that LeBron is getting beat up on a little too much. At the same time, I do wonder if we may be seeing some lack of discipline that I believe comes from skipping the college game entirely. Michale Jordan always credited Dean Smith ("the only person who could hold him under 20 points") for a great deal of his success. Physically, LeBron was ready for the NBA. He may be lacking the discipline that comes with playing at a high college level where he could be benched if he does not follow the rules or does something stupid. I have seen a lot of high level high school games, and it does not approach the intensity of Division 1 college. How to fix that problem, I don't know.

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

      I agree that if you compare intensity, Lebron is not in MJ's league, but I find it hard to say the reason is due to skipping college. I would use Kobe as an example as he skipped college and exhibits a much higher level of intensity.

      Nonetheless, Miami is lacking something that prevented them from clamping down or closing out when they needed to. That killer instinct and ability to finish is fostered through endless practices beating up on each other which Miami seems to lack. I would blame the coach, but it can't be easy dealing with these egomaniacal superstars either...

      June 13, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. Shamrock6

    Come on...it's only bassaball. It's not like it's a real sport....like hockey. Whatever.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mike

    In the words of Charlie Sheen – Lebron = not winning

    June 13, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  9. redisgreat

    Greatness. Kareem, Nowitski, Magic, Dr. J, Moses Malone, Bird. Not LeBron – yet.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. OBSERVER

    CAVS are all Cry-babies. Lebron was in the finals and you were all watching and wishing you wer there. Just a dream for you. ALSO, seemed to me the NBA did not want the Heat to win, officials SUCKED. If the Heat came near a Mavrick they were quick to call a foul, Refs controlled these finals. We will see you in the finals again next year haters.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Kebnekaise

      C'mon, Le Bron – get off the computer and go shoot some free throws. You need the practice.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr Brightside

      Says the Heat fan of nearly one year

      June 13, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  11. 973Code

    Damn LaBron!!!! You lost to a German €r@ck£r!!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. Auloria

    The false morality of this LeBron James story is absurd. LBJ made a smart business decision, and nearly won the championship. He may not be the best player of all time, but he's definitely one of them. Stop hating.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr Brightside

      Was it smart? How many hate him now that used to love him? Ask Tiger about endorsements when you're newly despised.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • David

      a smart business decision?

      seriously has basketball come to that. ?

      Lebron is a good player but way too overrated and for him to walk around like he owns the nba and throw championship style parades before the season even start and announce where he is going to play only to disappoint the team who praised him like a hero for 7 years is simply pure arrogance.

      This is not about business decisions, its a sport you play your hardest and you play to be the best and the greats that have won champiionships didnt play their hardest for business, they did it because they wanted to win and prove they were the best.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • bawevi

      Chris Bosh in a phone call to Lebron James this morning:

      "Hey, maybe we should ditch this Miami thing and head to Dallas to play with Dirk so we can prove how great we are, to prove we're champions? (cough, cough, sniff)"

      Leaders don't follow. And greatness is earned, not bought.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. John

    I have never seen so many sore loosers than the ones in Cleveland. My God, what a bunch of babies. Get a life you loosers.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr Brightside

      First, it's 'loser'. Second, any other fan base that had the biggest free agent in the history of sports leave their team the way LBJ did would be acting the same way.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  14. SAY WHAT!!!

    Congrats Mavs!!! Now how is LeBron a traitor – he finished his contract in Cleveland. Not like he left in the middle of his contract. His 7 years were over so he moved to another team. And you can laugh all you want but this new Heat team made it to the finals in their first year. This Team is not done – on the contrary they are just getting started.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Mr Brightside

      Quitting in the middle of the playoffs?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tank

    @john: i dont usually do this because i myself am not always the best speller but its not "loosers" its "losers"

    June 13, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
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