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. Jojo

    Yep, James carried Cleveland, and then dropped them right when it mattered the most! Just like Miami!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  2. ABB11

    You all will be talking the same smack when he ditches the Heat for some other team.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  3. Faith

    For those of you who say GET OVER IT CLEVELAND. Remember – we don't care that he left. We respect his decision. However we DO NOT CARE for HOW he did it. He made promises he didn't keep. He lied. And, by not telling the CAVS ownership or team mates he was leaving was down right CRUEL. He's a self absorbed a**. And, I'm GLAD he's gone. And, I'm also GLAD he took his talents to "Souf" Beach. Grass isn't always greener on the other side is it Bron Bron?! Now who you gonna blame it on?! Can't blame it on Dan Gilbert or the Cavs any more. So, who did it now?! Bosh?! Or, Wade?! Or, maybe your old elbow injury?!? Just sayin'...

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

      deluded much? You're bitter because the ONLY chance cleveland had to NOT suck fled town as soon as his contract was up.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • lolbasketballmadness

      don't be mad because cleveland has never won a championship ever!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Faith

      Don't insult me. I'm not deluded. I paid lots of money to SUPPORT him. He used to praise Cleveland and promised things he didn't deliver. He could never "finish" when it meant the most. He gave up on his team. And, he gave up on a city that praised him. And, worshiped him. And, he crapped on us. I like LeBron. However, he could man up and be better than what he's SAID and SHOWN. Thank u.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      you ARE deluded....you all crapped on yourselves....other teams don't have a problem building around a guy...the Bulls did it with MJ, the Lakers did it with Kobe, etc.....the cavs and their fans SUCK and made him want to leave.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Faith

      Rob, you're a loser. You've commented on just about everyone's post. I never insulted you. I'm a girl for heavensake. Treat people with respect. Cavs fans don't SUCK. But your smart mouth sure does.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  4. capt_dragon

    White man CAN jump.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  5. Ken from Boston

    Does this mean that we will stop comparing Lebron to Jordan? We need to give him his just rewards and compare him to someone he is a lot more like. Someone like let say....Patrick Ewing?

    June 13, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • MzMic

      Lol. PE was not a self-absorbed jerk. And PE was loyal to NYC.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken from Boston

      MzMic – HA! Your dead on correct!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lolbasketballmadness

    so funny, cleveland has never won a championship in their history and they are laughing at lebron lol what irony!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
  7. jo

    mean article- this is america- free to find your own happiness in your own home town or a new state.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. RudyG

    I wonder how humble all those reporters are – the ones who are blasting LeBron for being arrogant. I have yet to meet one who is. They will ride the LeBron hatred as far as they can. Ratings and readers, baby! They are actually no more genuine than LeBron!! As for Cleveland fans being happy, it just gets sadder and sadder. When and how will they hold their team owners accountable, instead of sulking eternally? And lastly, how would New York have reacted if LeBron had chosen the Big Apple? Chicago? Cleveland? Ahh yes, they would have hated him for his arrogance. What hypocrisy!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • No Basketball fan...

      But really agree with your statement....let the hate go!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. Amir

    Some folks hate him for abandoning the city who once hailed them as their hero. Others hate him for how he left the city – ripping its heart out out on national TV so he can join the league of superstars in bringing glory to himself.

    I mean, look at his Tweet sent a couple of hours ago, where Bron said, "The greater man upstairs know when it's my time. Right now isn't the time." Greater man? Greater than who...the Great King James? Who is he kidding?

    June 13, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      "The Decision" wasn't about LeBron...it was about the media and the fans....if not for the media and the fans, there would have been no show....they certainly don't have a show like that for EVERY player that switches teams...so, ultimately, the fact that people drool over everything he does and says is what caused the situation of "how he left"....

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

      The man cannot say a word without everyone analyzing it.....It is not nice to put words in people's mouth. BTW...GO MAVS...great job!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  10. Eddie Stacker

    Lebrons Lame !!!!!

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

    If you're saying LeBron "was right" because Miami got closer to winning than Cleveland, then you are missing the point. The point isn't that he was wrong about the chances of winning. The point is he was wrong to put himself above the team (Cleveland at the time) by thinking about himself first. A teammate does what it takes for his team to get rings, not for "him" to get rings.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      technically, he wasn't on the cavs when he changed teams....his contract expired. He was on NO team but was just an individual with the option to sign with whatever team he chose. He COULD have re-signed with the cavs but they suck and had failed to provide a "team" for LeBron for 7 years....Kobe didn't do it all himself, the Lakers built a team around him. MJ didn't do it all himself, the Bulls built a team around him, Shaq didn't do it all himself but had teams in several cities built around him....LeBron left because he found himself stuck in a $hi+hole that seemed incapable of signing any quality teammates. LeBron left because he had a crappy coach.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • No Basketball fan...

      Hellllloooooo, his contract was up!!!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. Get over this

    One thing to go seprate ways. No one has a problem with that. It's another to decive, lie and spurn all while flaunting it on National tv and rub it in the faces of loyal supporters. You want Cleveland to lay off LeBron? What has Cleveland ever done to you? Why don't you lay off Cleveland? They have every right to enjoy this, and rub it BACK in the face of LeBron. He made his own bed. Skrew him.
    Good Job Mavs!.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. steve

    i often question LaBron's age.
    he looks more like 35 or 36
    guess the NBA "matures" you to some extent!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
    • JohnnyOh2323

      I've always thought the same thing. The clock is running on his championship chances cause he's 32, minimum. I want to see his birth certificate.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lori

    Good grief.....GROW UP Cleveland!! Stop being a sore loser. Players switch team all the time. He played his heart out for you and fufilled his contract to your city. He did not owe you a thing. In fact I believe you owe him. No one deserves to be treated the way you treat him. If you quit your job and get a new one that you consider to be better and give you more opportunities should everyone jump all over your butt????? Just saying.....

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

      Lori, among many reasons you're wrong, one is this: if I left for a better job elsewhere, no problem. But if I had been in discussions for years with a rival firm about going to work there, and then tanked the last major project my employer entrusted me with, and the company's stock dropped off a table, I'd say the employer and co-workers would have plenty right to be angry at me. Especially if, for the next year, I blamed my former colleagues for not being efficient enough in helping me to succeed, when it was my own lack of drive.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • bjk

      YOU JUST DON'T GET IT!!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • RIGHT ON POINT!!!

      You said it all...I mean really, the man left when his opportunity came up (contract ended)...so what is the big deal. No one put him on that pedestal but the fans themselves....so now they want to hate on his just because he choose to LEAVE. Get over it...grow up!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  15. Spike 9011

    The main point of all of this is that he thought he got it all figured out and took the easy road by joining the Heat to get a ring. He even proclaimed it's going to be a dynasty. Well, at the end of all of it, still no ring. He got his "die nasty" though. LOL.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:29 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