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. joe

    Media has targeted Barry Bonds, Michael Vick, Cam Newton, Terrelle Pryor, Lebron James, Tiger Woods for destruction. Anybody see a pattern here?

    June 13, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • bball fan response

      steroids/perjury, animal abuse ring, eliciting money, abusing scholarship, and adultery are the charges brought against all but LeBron. His case is different, quite comparable to Brett Favre's. I guess I don't see a pattern.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Balto Paul

      No, Most of your list have been involved with cheating in some way. LeBron's just an arrogant @$$. I'm not seeing the pattern you speak of. More like "one of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong ..."

      June 13, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • David M

      No, I don't see a pattern here. What I do see is a list of athletes that think they are bigger than the game and they are failing at it. Oh, you mean the race thing? Only a racist would bring that up.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Secret

      They're all lousy people? That's the only pattern I see.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • herrsonic

      You forgot Roger Clemens.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • panchito

      Their rich, and black?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      Tiger, Vick, and the rest you list all acted immorally. Yes, I do see a pattern–don't even play the race card!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Yes I seen a pattern of immense arrogance and for several of these named people proven liars and cheaters and felons...sadly I don't see the pattern your blindness would like though....

      June 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth

      All Athletes? Put your card away.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • jonp

      yea, they're all arrogant boneheads and of them broke the law. oh yea, and INCIDENTALLY, they're all black. you could put the shoe on the other foot as well. go look at a series of mug shots of drug dealers and cop killers and i bet a majority of them will be of black men. notice a pattern?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • carruth

      yes..your a race baiter...

      June 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Hoss

      They're all idiots who either cheated, were unethical, or conceited? Yes, I see a trend...Also, don't play the race card...Look at Jim Tressel at Ohio State...Prior got off pretty easy compared to him. Thanks for your time.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • GG

      I only see one trend – schmucks like you are color blind. What about Rafael Palmero, Pete Rose, Mark McGuire?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Douglas

      And Lance Armstrong, Pete Rose, Mark Mcquire, Floyd Landis.... give it a rest, man.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • daxson

      Yes I do, they are all guys that have thrust themselves into the spotlight due to their actions or inactions. They are all guys who people built up in their mind as gods or heroes only to see them fall whether criminally, morally, or socially and now people want to lash out at them not just to reprimand them for their behavior but to make themselves feel better since they looked up to these men. I do see a pattern here, but i don't think it is the one you are insinuating

      June 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim, Dallas Tx

      Don't forget Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens, Tim Tebow and Brett Favre.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mercfan74

      Yes, there is a pattern: Bonds and Vick broke the law. Newton and Pryor while they did not break the law, the broke NCAA rules. Woods cheated on his wife (while he isn't the first to do this he was the biggest name in sports when he did it). Their actions brought what happened to them on themselves. If you think it's racial, just look how the media is treating John Edwards and Weiner right now.

      James wasn't the first free agent to leave the team that drafted him. He was a hometown boy that made good and by some miracle, the Cavs were able to draft him. It wasn't as much his leaving, but the way he left that broke that city's heart. The entire ESPN circus last year was the most arrogant thing I have seen in sports. Since when do players determine how a team is built? You don’t mention the way the league promoted the Heat when James and Bosh came to Miami, you would think they were the 2nd coming of Jordon-Pippen-Rodman. The league is as much to blame as the players.

      The Fans in Cleveland have every right to feel vindicated right now.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • A dude

      Yeah they are all dbags like you

      June 13, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mercfan74

      A few responders mentioned Brett Farve, he wrote the book on how to get fans to turn on you. He could have sat on the GB bench collect millions and retire a football god. But ego got the better of him and drove him to extend his career a few more seasons. MJ left the Bulls to play AA baseball and he took some criticism for it but the Chicago fans never turned their backs on him.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. han

    I don't like lebum, but at least his team got to the finals unlike the cavs that will never make it there. Get a better front office. If they have time to joke and Taunt a player who left, they should use it to make the team better otherwise they should shut their childish mouths up.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jacj

      Uhhh....They did make the finals in 2007. With James after he devestated Detroit in double OT. That LeBron was one of the most clutch performers I have ever seen. The LeBron of the last few years is a bum. It is unexplainable.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • tks123

      hey han, retard, were not around when they MADE it to the finals in 2007 against the Spurs. Yes, they got swept in four and LeBron was on that team as well. So, stating the Cavs will never make it to the finals puts you in the same arrogant, classless, no clue spectrum as LeBron !!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Slamman007

    Everyone needs to lighten up on Cleveland!! Cleveland has a right to be bitter, Lebron spit in their face. If Lebron had been honest and admitted that a change was necessary for him and it was NOT just about winning a ring, Clevelanders would not be seething. But think about Lebron's reasoning, he had no FAITH in Cleveland ever becoming a champion, so he was taking his show on the road. You reap what you sow and while I derive no joy in someone's failure, God despises a coward.

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

      "you reap what you sow"....so true...and cleveland sowed a croppy environment....the result was that their ONLY chance at not sucking fled....

      June 13, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Slymoss33

      I never knew so many people could dislike one person until I seen the reactions and read some of the post about Lebron. What did he do that was so bad that he deserve so much hate. People are really taking it personally. Some say its because its the way he announced his leaving Cleveland, a city where he helped boys and girls centers open and raise money for several children charities. Let's not misunderstand, I am no fan of no man but if you call what he did to cleveland in the pass 7 years a spit in the face. Then what do you call all the others who left Cleveland in hopes of winning a championship?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. PithyMcGee

    "James, Heat Can't Take Dallas's Big Dirk"

    June 13, 2011 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  5. NBAfan 44

    The City of Cleveland and the Cavs owner are only reassuring James that he made the right decision to leave.The days leading up to his announcement to join the Heat,the fans were Begging,pleading for him to stay.The owner of the cavs offered a max deal for James to stay.So,they thought he was such a good player to pay him the most allowed.And the fans were picketing,and begging him to stay,then seconds after he makes his choice-he becomes a bum.Cleveland is the armpit of the NBA.I lived there for 7 years,Why would anyone waste there talent playing for that type of fan-owner?

    June 13, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Do what you feel...

    It’s shameful how people concern themselves with what others are doing with their lives. Why do you care about Le Bron so much? He certainly doesn’t care about you...

    Besides at the end of the day, he is going to take care of himself and his family, make his millions and play basketball. This is America and he has the right to do whatever he pleases. Get over it…shut up!!!!! If he comes up to you and slaps you or hurts your child then you have something to BI#*H about!!!! Get a hobby!!!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. go to your mansion, I don't care

    I guess this would matter to me if I followed a league where 50% of the teams make the playoffs, including those with losing records (Indiana). I understand why Lebron left Cleveland. He felt he had more opportunity to win and receive endorsement deals in Miami. Don't kid yourself Miami, if he went to NY or Chicago you would have hated and rooted against him too.

    He needs to hire a new PR firm. Of course he is hated by everyone outside of Miami, he acts like an a hole. Blah blah he's rich. His mom is a drunk. He's famous and rich and if he loves getting the boo's, he's earned it but I pretty sure that wasn't his intention.

    Boo hoo, I didn't win a championship. You get to go to your loser life. I'm taking my ball and going home.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  8. joe

    1st off don't mention God while you are expressing hate, this is blasphemy. Secondly this "hatred" is more of the white backlash/insanity present since Obama was elected. Basically it is "attack and destroy" prominent blacks, whether in sports or in Congress.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Picture

      Seriously lay off the race card...LeBron is a sorry excuse for human being of any color! Read his comments after the game! He brings this on himself!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Wow. @joe, I think you are looking for something that's not there. It doesn't matter how many times you post your message, that's not going to make people agree with you. I'm not sure if you are black or not. I am black and thoroughly offended at the way you are throwing around half truths to make a case. I think that there have been some tensions race wise, but that's made worse when people make comments like yours. Please preface your statements with a disclaimer that these are your thoughts and yours alone. Maybe you should see someone for your paranoia.

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

      stop being a coward "really", either you stand up to racism or you get bulled over by it, you choose

      June 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      @joe – I commented on your post. That's me standing up to racism. You are not helping us. Your comments are ignorant and unfounded. If you really want to make a difference, go volunteer at a homeless shelter or something. You twist facts to make your points. That does not help your case nor does it help anyone.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Recovering Republican

    Nice to know that you cannot buy an NBA championship. Those rings must be earned through real team play.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Greg Chapman

    WEAK HEADLINE, CNN!
    this is about Dallas not Cleveland, quit feeding the BS!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. Silfurca

    I think everyone on here is missing the point. This is not LeBron James (LBJ) fault – at least not entirely. Blame it on the MEDIA! The media has put LBJ on a high pedestal that he doesn't deserve. The media has done this guy and ALL of NBA fans a disservice in this regard.
    From the moment LBJ entered the league the media has been comparing him with legendary players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic etc. I think it is highly unfair, unreasonable and irrational to put LBJ in the same category as these great players. Yes, LBJ is good player but he is definitely NOT a great player as the media (David Stern, NBA, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and other sports media outlet) has portrayed him to be. There has been a false, misleading, disingenuous, deceptive, media blaze, media frenzy, and media hype about how great a player this guy is. Do you recall the 2008 NBA first round playoffs series when the Cavs swept the Pistons in that series (4-0)? Do you know that the media had the audacity and impudence to compare LBJ to Jordan and other great/legendary players of the game?
    While the media (sports media) should consist of highly professional people it’s appalling and unfortunate that it doesn’t. What was the media thinking? Did they think that a kid right out of high school will come to the NBA and dominate the league from the get go – a league consisting of professional players? How could they have missed it? How could they have gotten this wrong? Not once, not twice but numerous times. This is not a rocket science. This is about greed, money, TV ratings etc, that’s the bottom-line. Even though I'm not a sport expert, I'm not an NBA expert but I can tell you that D. Wade is a better player than LBJ.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      all available evidence suggests that my daughter is going to be better at tennis than Steffi Graf could have ever dreamed of being....should we start the media storm now or wait until my daughter is born in a few months?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. joe

    nobody who is not a Cleveland fan shouldn't give a damn whether or not he left the Cavs. The fact that so many do leads anyone with common sense to know this is more of a race issue than loyalty to a team they don't give a damn about.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      well, I suppose some people could be bitter that he didn't choose their team when he left cleveland....

      June 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeff

    NBA basketball is one of the worst pro sports on the planet. It's writers and fans do nothing more than confirm that statement. Pathetic.

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

    NOw they see what a mistake it was not to sign ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER when they had a chance!!

    June 13, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. always a Lebron Fan

    Cleveland Cavaliers are truly a sorry team, and Clevelanders are appearing to be more sorry. How many years were the Cavs #1 in the Eastern Conference because of LeBron but the year he leaves you guys were dead last in the league (truly remarkable). No wonder Cleveland is still bitter about his decision. Most of you guys who are still trash talking may be unemployed because he left. The man generated so much revenue for Cleveland and this is the respect he gets. Remember this, Mo Williams or Daniel Gibson will never have a ring before LeBron (look at the teams their own). As a matter of fact Congratulations LeBron on making it to the Finals and congrats MIAMI HEAT! Next year it will all come together, watch. Remember Kobe and Shaq did not win a championship the first year they were together nor did Magic or Kareem or Michael & Pippen. So with that said this year was a learning experience for the HEAT and much props to you guys. Oh, CAVS won't even be in the 2011-2012 playoffs just wait and see.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      If the NBA had a situation like English soccer, the cavs would be demoted to a lower league and replaced by the winner of that lower league....

      June 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • 9thnoise

      Actually, uhhh, Magic did. Might want to work on facts a little before making them up.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Magic won his rookie year.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wayne

      Lebron has proved he is nothing more than a ghetto trash talking loser. I am so glad the Mavs won. They showed some real class.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marcusq

      Really, how about the awsome sportsmanship that Lebron showed when he walked off the court refusing to shake the Mavl's hands after thier win? Or how aboiut the star studed showmanship with ESPN when he left Cleveland...I have watched Lebron slowly unravel........winning winning winning.....yes it is important and the man should try to win a championship with what ever team he desires, but how can any one who is a true sports fan not notice what an 'uncouth' and poor personality this Lebron exudes..... From someone who is niether a Cleveland Fan,

      June 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
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