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. Yasnel

    WOW!!! The haters are all over the place. LMAO. Don't hate on a team with good players. Novitski is a dinosaur in basketball and the Miami Heat kicked their asses in 2006 thanks to Dwyane Wade. Having a couple of extra players that are good is no reason to hate on a good team. Cleveland needs to man up and stop crying. It'd cold and disgusting up there nothing to do besides freeze, who wouldn't come to Miami and enjoy the nice weather and beautiful women!

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

      well said

      June 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • junior

      Yea, but that dinosaur kicked that over inflated ego ass.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • chitownphilly

      @Yasnel, yea the Dinaosaur just whipped you guys, I would show some more respect!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • jdurand

      You said, "don't hate on a team with good players". I suggest you take your own advice when talk down about the Mavericks.

      They're a much better T-E-A-M than the Heat. The way they act, you'd think the Heat only has three players, and one of thos rarely gets the ball (poor Bosh).

      The Mavericks, on the other hand represent the epitome of teamwork and good sportsmanship.

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

      BWAAAAAAHHAHAHAHAH.... If they were so good they would have won. SCOREBOARD!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Lenny Pincus

      Pretty simple. If the Heat doesn't play miles above their heads, the Bulls would have beaten them. Congrats to the Mavs for beating down a bunch of whining, flopping, self-centered babies. I'm glad I don't have to watch Wade and James wave their arms and cry for fouls every single play, at least until next fall.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • K

      Uh, 2006 was 5 years ago.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Some of us are just happy that a team that didn't deserve to win didn't win. I'm happy that Bosh broke down into tears like a baby, because it shows that he still needs to mature, and while D-Wade was shaking hands and congratulating the Mavs it showed LeBron walking into the locker room. I'm not hating on the Heat, I'm hating on how unsportman like Bosh and James are. I hope they never win rings, but I hope D-Wade wins one again

      June 13, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Ray

      still stuck in 2006? that was then and this is now. and now, Dirk has a ring. One thing hasn't changed since 2006 though. and that's Lebron being ringless. Pippen should be ashamed for evening mentioning Lebron's name in the same sentence with Jordan's. Blapshemy

      June 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bobby

    I think regardless of whether you are a mavericks fan or not all fans can appreciate winning with class and all fans can appreciate those without class being humbled. The youth of today needed to see that those who think only about themselves are not often rewarded.

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

      Amen! Well said.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. billoreits

    So happy for Mark Cuban and his Mavs TEAM. So glad to see arrogance and ego take a back seat to TEAM. Though LeBron's 4th quarter disappearing act for the first 5 games and his 29 minute 2 point drought in the elimination game were critical to the Heat's demise, I will forever remember his ridiculous pep talk before game 4. With the Heat up 2 games to 1 and home court advantage sealed for the series, LeBron tells his team that their backs are to the wall. He tossed any psychological advantage his team had in what was clearly a must win game for the Mavericks and certainly not the Heat.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Steve-o

    Man, Cleveland's gotta get over it already... this is pathetic.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
  5. Peter E

    Don't forget, here in America if you happen to be in the second BEST team in the world, having bested the entire world except for one team, you are obviously a loser and deserve to be made fun of.
    Seriously though, there is such a thing as being a bad loser, there is such a thing as being a bad winner, and then there are incredible losers whose only joy is to see a winner lose once in a while. Cleveland is being that increbile bad loser.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. Gregory Pierce

    Definitely can't get change for a dollar from Lebron because he only has 3 quarters to give.

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

      did you steal that from some 2nd grader?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  7. Steph

    Seriously, city of Cleveland you need to get over LeBron leaving. I know you feel betrayed because he said he would never leave but really!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Dabchick

      I believe the fact Lebron left is not the problem but the WAY he left & all the bragging!!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  8. qzorro

    Well Charles Barkley said during a Pacers – Bulls game that LeBron should have not went to Miami Heat. Instead he should have went to the Pacers. The Pacers is a good shooting team that lacks a star. LeBron could have been that star. He added it is similar to Jordan and the Bulls playing along Pippen and Kerr. Then he would have a huge shot of wining the NBA. This is just Barkley's opinion and I so happen to agree with him.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  9. deuce

    You know, this whole "HATE LEBRON" thing is so retarded.

    You guys are complaining because some dude you paid millions of dollars to throw a ball around got paid more millions to throw a ball around somewhere else. You should be happy, you saved money.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. JohnnyOh2323

    I thought Lequit quit on purpose in the Celtics series last year but he might actually have a clinical phobia of pressure.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mr Phil

    Is the entire city of Cleveland made up of 5 year olds? I've got 3 words for you whiny, little brats – "GET OVER IT!"

    June 13, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  12. ed

    Is it true, Lebron James never finished college, because he couldn't handle the finals. lol

    June 13, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      idiot....he never WENT to college because he got paid right out of HS more than you will see in your entire life....laugh at that!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. 25 cents

    Somebody asked Lebron for a dollar and he only gave them 75 cents. They asked him where is the other 25 cents. And Lebron replied I don’t have a 4th quarter.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      my 8 year old son brought that one home from elementary school last week....

      June 13, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  14. Toni

    How "old" is Cleveland's owner? He is pathetic. No wonder LeBron left. The man is free to go wherever he wants to. Congrats to the MAVS! It was just their time. Nothing more.

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

    The Mavericks have something that the Heat doesn't; Team play.
    The Heat weren't coordinating as a team. LeBron was yielding to Wade's on-court star power. And the Heat weren't coordinating their plays as a team.
    The best 'Team' did win.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      I'd like to address the issue of anger toward Lebron James and how I’ve never seen a positive figure so vehemently criticized for making a choice. Of course those who want to avoid the truth about America's real character will push back and say I'm being "divisive" but the bottom-line is the “hatred” toward Lebron James is not about basketball, this is about America's hatred of a young Black Man with options in a time when so many have few or none. Furthermore it’s also about America’s deep-seated disdain for Black men who go are powerful enough to affect economic and social change. How so you ask? Look at Dan Gilbert's numbers before Lebron and afterwards. On and off the court, Lebron James changed them. Look at the city of Cleveland's outlook on prosperity, (no matter how misguided it was), Lebron James changed it. Look at the lives of the children who received money from Lebron James' "Decision" special; he changed them as well. Over 2 million was given due to an event that many thought was over the top yet they watched it like the last episode of the Sopranos. In one hour Lebron James gave more money than some mega churches give in a year! At one point I was buying into the whole "he could've done it differently" thing but when I see "warmed over Madonna", (Lady Gaga), arriving at an award ceremony in an egg, it made me realize it was more about the person than what took place. Driving my points home is everyone is attacking Lebron for being narcissistic yet when he got everyone else involved during game 4 and 5 he was accused of "shrinking". Now the Dallas Mavericks are the "ultimate team" and classless Dan Gilbert's comments are front page news as if he's really relevant or a human being any of us need to listen to now. How absurd?!
      Lebron James is a young man who grew up in poverty, with challenges that seem to still haunt him to this day. He’s a sensitive young man who cares about what people think whether it be good or bad in your eyes. He only wants "true family" which is why he's so close to those who've been on this journey with him since early on. Yet America wants to practice the worse form of bullying, (cowardice), because it’s jealous that his God given talents have given him options 99 percent of us will never have. I’m especially disappointed in African-Americans who are piling on as they should see what President Obama faces daily on national comment boards and in the media in general. He's endures thinly veiled personal attacks because he is ultimately the most powerful man on the face of the earth and those who hate change hate him. Just as the expectations of him turning around the economy after 30 years of corruption and greed are absolutely as unrealistic, so are those placed on 26 year old Lebron James. Lebron has been a great public citizen, a good steward over his wealth and we’ve not had to see his mug-shot on the internet for doing something thoughtless yet that’s not enough for America. They want to bring this young man down to the pit of misery and jealousy they are currently wallowing in. Again it sounds like the man who currently occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
      In conclusion, I’m not hearing the outcry in the sports world or America in general over David Beckham’s salary though soccer is still an afterthought in this country, neither am I hearing anyone reflect on how Lebron is positioning himself to not be another “broke jock” after he’s done with basketball. You won’t either because this is the America of today. A nation still steeped in “hatred” and not realizing those very ideas are the ones that are keeping us in listening to societal Walkmans while the rest of the world has moved on to IPods.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      Drew-you're a racist.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Kelly

      @Drew

      Drew, it's not the 1960's anymore. And you just supported that saying even African Americans are riding LeBron. If he were the best player in the league and white, and had done the same thing, he'd still get derided to the end of his career. I don't think it's right, because he doesn't seem that bad as you pointed out, but he does say things to get him into hot water, warranted or not. Hopefully he'll get his championship.

      June 14, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Drew,

      First of all, the race card no longer works. If you say there are few opportunities for a black man (or any other man/woman for that matter), then you are wrong. I give you President Barack Hussein Obama as an example. I also give you his wife, who was dirt poor growing up and now makes up to 7 figures in salary.

      Furthermore, I grew up poor and I am white. Often times I did not have enough to eat, or had little to eat while growing up, but my mother and grandmother saw my sister and I through it all. As well I live in a county here in Indiana, that posseses the highest welfare rate in the entire state. And oh by the way, the population of white:black is about 1000-1.

      So, don't tell me about lack of opportunity because of a person's color of skin. It doesn't work, and it won't

      We don't hate LeBron because of his skin color – hell, we don't even hate him period. We hate his actions and ego, and his lack of recognition as to where he came from and the people who got him to where he is today. If he would just show a little respect and humility it would help him on and off the court I am sure.

      Oh and the donation things, that LeBron does? That won't work either. Donating millions of dollars to cause is nice, but let's face it: it is a nice tax write-off when 15 April comes every year.

      June 14, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave B

      Drew – are you really that ignorant?

      Save that race card for when it really matters. LeBron tattooed "Chosen1" in huge letters on his back. That is arrogance like I've never seen before in my life. To suggest that that has anything to do with race is just stupid – and racist in and of itself. People like you who bust out the race argument for any and all criticism of any person of color make me want to puke.

      There is real racism in the world, and real oppression, and comments like yours make a mockery of them. Kinda reminds me of Adrian Peterson and his slavery comments. Real slaves are still spinning in their graves over that one. Grow up Drew…

      June 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnDHater

      Drew, no one could have put that better!!!

      June 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnDHater

      All of you who disagree with Drew fail to understand how ignorant you are. The problem with most of you is that you've never had an open and honest conversation with a black person. Stay ignorant...I don't care. One thing is for certain, LeBron will get his multiple Championships and Ohio will always be a state of LOSERS!!!

      June 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yahko

      To JohnDHater: This is exactly what you are doing wrong – you make it sound like having a honest conversation with a black person is any different from having a conversation with an Asian, an Hispanic or an Arab. So all of us here dont know what we are talking about and you are comfortably playing the "race" card and that there is an issue of black celebs who voice they opinions and they are being shut down because of that.

      They are not! Every single person who is going to pull some sh!t in this country is going to get hammered to the wall by the press, people, media, analysts and so on. Ex- Weiner, Brett Favre, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan – the list goes on, are there any BLACK people on that list – Yes Indeed – but not because of the colour of their skin but because of something they did.

      You look at great black athletes like Hank Aaron, Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson the list goes on. They were the ones who you cant touch because they are professional – LeBron is unprofessional this is why he deserves to loose and be at the bottom of the pit. Simple as that. If he can get his act together and not act like a complete ass-clown then he would get some respect from the people, the league and the media.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
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