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."

Post by:
Filed under: Basketball • Cleveland • LeBron James • NBA • Ohio • Sports
soundoff (1,422 Responses)
  1. Margie

    Lebron has a right to go to whatever team he chooses. Cleveland fans should get over it already. Cleveland is really being childish about the whole thing. So he didn't get a ring, so what, neither did the Cavs.

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

      The Cleveland Cavaliers are so childish, okay LeBron didnt get a ring, but atleast he got farther than you all with the Heat, so stop hating!!!! I can guarantee the Heat will win the championship before the Cavaliers lol

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

      He got this far with his "inferior" Cavaliers – no DWade, no Bosh... I don't even like the Cavaliers, and LeBron had every right to take his talents elsewhere. It's just nice to see karma in action!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Clint

      Negative. I watched how Lebron carried himself in Cleveland and often spoke highly of him and how he was different than most of the egomaniacs that make up pro sports. And then he pulls off what I consider to be the most egotistical move ever. Holding a live TV event to tell the world where you would play next???? Are you serious??? I am glad that he did not win it and I hope he never does! He loss all my respect the night he sat down with ESPN for his "announcement"! What an idiot!

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

      Yeah, he has the right to go where he wants. Not the point. Point is he bailed on a city that supported him and who wanted to see him lead their city to a championship. Not only did he bail, he turned it into an hour-long prime-time TV special. He made himself into a frinkin' prima donna before he had accomplished anything. Would Bird have done that? Magic or Michael? Hell no! LeBron is deserving of all the mockery he's getting. And even if he eventually wins a championship, he will always be remembered as a spoiled brat first and as a great player second.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  2. Vader

    Seems premature (and unseemly) for anyone to be 'celebrating' the Heat loss in the NBA Finals this year. At least they were IN the Finals in the first place (Cavs didn't even make the playoffs at all). Also, this is just year 1 of this Heat powerhouse lineup; who knows what will happen next year with this one under their belt, and hopefully a learning experience about the meaning of the work 'Team'?

    June 13, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. OBSERVER

    LeBron has been gone for a year and is still the main Headline in Cleveland. LET IT GO!!! How come your not complaining about you coach Leaving?? Congrats to Dallas!!

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

      You forget that Cleveland Fired their coach because Lebron didn't like him. Wouldn't surprise me if Spoelstra finds himself unemployed pretty soon thanks to Lebron.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • bill

      Cleveland fired Mike Brown and Lakers' fans will soon find out how awful he is!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  4. Aaron

    What heck is Cleveland laughing for? They will NEVER win a championship lol.

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

      Lol thats what Im saying.....Cavaliers = Losers, their mad because LeBron WAS the team and he left

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

    I still think Miami will win a championship before Cleveland does, but Lebron needs to produce more and talk less.

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

      Agreed. There is no doubting Lebron's talent but look at all the talented players who don't have rings. Its time to shut up and start putting up. Coaches will have to help him mature.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Wes

    No, Shawn; you miss the point! James was carrying Cleveland and they were nothing without him. The worst losing record proves this.the I am not a Heat fan; but they will bounce back and will prove the critics wrong.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  7. derotts3

    TOO FUNNY!!!!!!! I guess all that talk of being the best DIDN'T PAN OUT FOR YOU!!!!!!!!! GO HOME AND TRY AGAIN NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. asd

    Thats a same that some people happy because the Miami lost,(and not because they are Dallas funs ) and Lebron was right they almost won the finals, the dallas was better in head this time but dont forget the Miami swept the Bulls and the Boston in the semi-finals, and in Cleveland, Lebron never had this big chance to win his first ring... And maybe the next year is theirs.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. Shamrock6

    BASSABAWL!!!!!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. AllGood

    ok get it straight,most of us fans in Cleveland do not hate LeBron James,we simply hate how he disrespected and disregarded us! Should we get over it? Yes it's time to move on.... however the first season after he left us was bound to be difficult so yes we are just a little bit happier that the Mavs won! After loving and cheering LeBron on for 7 yrs. We have earned that right,if people can't see that "oh well" Congrats Mavs you rock! Good luck in the future LeBron! Cleveland Rocks!! Go Cavs!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • MzMic

      I'm not a Cavs fan, was a LeBron fan, but I am very disappointed in his growth (or lack thereof). Somewhere along the line he grew up to be a jerk. People will root against a jerk all day. I won't apologize for that.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  11. rasko41

    It's sad when schadenfreude is all you have.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jojo

    hahah, I got this series totally right over on SI. King NO MORE!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. PithyMcGee

    If I hear you little punks riding the Heat's d1ck anymore, I'm gonna scream! Of COURSE he has a right to go to whatever team he wants. He also has the right to be a moron and have an hour long special on tv about his choice of venue. He ALSO should be criticized and laughed at by any and everyone who doesn't like an egotistical jerk with a load of physical talents but no killer instinct. "Bron's game is weak when it counts the most.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • MzMic

      Agreed. 100%. He is getting what he deserves.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  14. 7o3y

    Was rooting against the Heat only because i wanted lebron to learn truly to be humble.After seeing this years playoffs and lebron all season id have to say lebron has actually became a worse player then he was in cleveland...joining the heat kind of changed his own mindset into thinking he cannot dominate a game which he had done numerous times before.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Zak

    It's "Dwyane" Wade.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44