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. DG

    hope Lebron learns to underpromise and overdeliver...anybody realize he made promises of championships in MIA like he did in CLE? He bailed before he could deliver...hope he doesn't do the same in MIA. He needs a shrink or something...to get over the mental hump because it is a mental

    June 13, 2011 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • always a Lebron Fan

      How old are you 5? What and ignorant statement.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jay

    L J does not add UP 2 MJ!!!!!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • stranger steve

      you're absolutely right. MJ was much better and WON CHAMPIONSHIPS with his team. Lebron never will. Lebron Lames!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. Zeus

    hahahahha that last quote is really good

    June 13, 2011 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. whyStayInCleveland

    How many games did Cleveland win this year???

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

      roughly the same number of playoff games the Heat won...

      June 13, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • rob

      It's not about him leaving Clevland...players do that all the time. It is the manner in which he left and the ego he took into this season that makes it satifying to see him fail hard in the championship. Kinda like when the Giants took down the 18-0 Patriots.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • CLE vs. MIA

      Not sure. CLE won as many championships as MIA though.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jay

    L plus J does not ADD UP 2 MJ!!!!! CHI-TOWN'S in the HOUSE!!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      I didn't see the bulls playing in the finals....I didn't see the bears playing in the SB....I didn't see the white sox in the series....

      June 13, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  6. MisterPL

    I really wish Wade's parents could have spelled his first name correctly. Stay in school, kids.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Beth

    I think the people of Cleveland need to get over it. James left--yes--but this was just business and nothing else. And look. he helped bring Miami this far. He could have done a lot worse; and he's young and has a long time ahead of him to win a Championship. So get over it Cleveland.

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

      You don't get it. Its not that he left, its how he left (fat ego)!

      June 14, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Dan

    Dan Gilbert is one of the top three owners in American sports today. He tells it like it is, while responding to class and loyalty with class and loyalty. Cleveland will indeed be back in the championship round of the NBA playoffs. Maybe not for the next 3 years, but it'll happen.

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

      you should try stand-up cause THAT was funny!

      June 13, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. r-hope

    It boils down to one thing: HUMILITY. And LeBron doesn't know how to spell that. After loosing, he was too proud to even congratulate the Mavs – that is what you do in sports. You acknowledge that the winning team did a better job; The day Lebron will learn to win and not thump his chest about it, or gloat over those who loose, that will be the day he becomes a real star.

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

      BINGO....Couldn't have said it any better......You get it just like I do.....The ego of James is his problem.....

      June 14, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mark

    No matter what LeBron does, people will find something negitive about it. If they wins the championship for the next 5 years people will still hate him and make excuses about how he did it. I don't agree about how he went about the "decision" but after Dan Gilbert showed how big of a d bag he is, we all saw LeBron made the right choice of leaving Cleveland.

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

    "L J does not add UP 2 MJ!!!!!!!"

    Jay that is a surefire quote you have got there

    June 13, 2011 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. LaQueen James

    It's nothing new about LeBron choking when it counts. It was the same story in Cleveland.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. 25 cents

    Someone told Lebron to take his shirt off.....lebron said why? CAUSE YOU STARVING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP

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

      my 8 yr old says you stole your last joke from him and that this joke of yours wasn't even funny....

      June 13, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  14. deb

    Sportswriters get it. Players get it. If you put self promotion above the game, you are not going to be well liked. Character still counts. Humility still counts. Lebron could be great- but to think that he will not and has not paid a price b/c of his behavior is naive. He needs to chill out, figure out how to play with a team as a team and put away the cult of personality for a while. He is potentially one of the greatest- but you can destroy talent without discipline. Maybe he should talk to his High School Coach who could be one of the last people that ever gave him good advice- maybe. In any event, Dallas and Dirk worked for it, and worked together to win. Beautiful.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. pablo

    SOOOO sick of hearing the announcers talk about the Heat having the best player in the NBA (Lebron) on the team. By my calibrated eyeball Lebron isn't even the best player on the Heat much less the NBA.

    All you Heat fans... live in the now! 2006 was... well 5 years ago!

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

      Let me guess you think the best player in the league is Nate Robinson... Get out of here before you speak nonsense. Lebron is ahead of all the other players. He is in a league of his own. Don't be jealous. You're probably from Cleveland. You like losing?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm | 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