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. JB

    Through all of this spoiled rich kid whining by Gilbert you'll never see him apoligize to Mike Brown. After all, that was a business decision, but....... Lebron James making a business decision is somehow different.

    Hypocrite!

    I'll enjoy watching the Lakers whip Cleveland's butt like a red headed step child from now on.

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

    Cleveland and Dallas are not the only city celebrating. Chicago fans are very excited. The Bulls are the better team and Miami got lucky beating Chicago. Miami is an overrated, old and a washed up team. The small 3 will never win a NBA final together. Note this now.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. misael25

    Now all talk can hush about "king James"better than Jordan. That still makes me laugh.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  4. John Curtis

    He made $53 million this year and lived in gloriously sunny MIAMI and not the filthy CLEVELAND cesspool. That's winning.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      But he's got no ring! And that is what REALLY matters to these guys.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Miami got to the finals. Where did Cleveland get...Haaaaa Worst team in the NBA

    June 13, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • tcp

      And Miami can't seal the deal...

      June 13, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. keylargo

    I'm amazed people still pay to see a known "fix".....wake up people you're being had!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Shamrock6

      chimpout.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. michelle

    How about some compassion?

    Granted, I can understand how Cleveland felt betrayed, but just jeering LBJ, poking fun at him, and hating him isn't the way to go. He's probably beating himself up, but people all around in the bb world could care less about how he feels as a human being. – most people feel as far as he's concerned, he doesnt' deserve any compassion.
    Yeah, you're in to win – but its time to show the companssion and look to the future.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. denver

    Congrats dallas! Hay maybe next year miami could sign a 4th superstar.hahahahah

    June 13, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • ray

      If they can afford it and ask them to take a pay cut! Lol haha

      June 13, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. jj

    If Cleveland revels in Miami/Lebron's loss, that is classless. The sad truth is Cleveland will NEVER be able to rebuild their team. Who are the losers?

    Dallas was the better team and the attention should be placed on praising them.

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

      Miami's loss has postponed thousands of suicides in cleveland....for a day or so...they'll eventually wake up and find themselves still in cleveland...

      June 13, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  10. eric

    Don't you think the media has made Lebron into a an "ego-maniac"? I mean they have only been messing with this guy since he was a kid. Leave him alone already!

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

      You should make a video and post it up on YouTube like that "Leave Brittany Alooooone" dude...

      June 13, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. John

    All we need is a good bench

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

    Congrats to the Mavs! Dirk and Co. has shown that hard work always prevails. This was not only a win for Dallas, but also a win for basketball. Team effort, and team unity overcame individual skills, and talent. Exactly how James Naismith dreamt it when he created this beautiful game.

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

    Wow, Cleveland! Bitter really is the new black!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. Sutemi

    Cleveland fans certainly have no winning teams of their own to celebrate. If all they're going to do is celebrate other teams losing, maybe they should put all that sports money toward their busted educational system. Then maybe they'd have more than just bread and circuses.

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

      if they get rid of their sports teams, wouldn't that get rid of the circus too?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. Apu Whopooped

    Whiny, whiny people.

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

      Hey Cleveland,

      I followed a link to this article from ESPN.com. Just wanted to say thanks for the support for the Mavs in the Finals. All of us down here ... and around the world ... feel bad for what happened to your team. If Dirk had done that to us ... I'd be heart-broken. The good news is ... you don't need Lebron. He's a good player. But he's no Jordan, not by a long shot. Remember that there's no KING in TEAM. And it takes a team to win an NBA Championship.

      We'll be pulling for you guys to get your shot too. Good luck Cleveland.

      Michael in Dallas

      June 13, 2011 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
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