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. Texan

    The Cleveland folks need to get a life. LeBron left and he has every right to work for whoever he wants. This story should be about the great season the Mavs and Heat had. Not about Cleveland. Fact of tha matter is if Cleveland had a decent front office that can field a good tam, Le Bron most likely would not have left.
    Stop the hate. .

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

      Cleveland folks have a life. What is so wrong with being happy (having fun) your ex is unhappy? The people that think basketball is important need to get a life. It is entertainment and nothing more.

      These players talk about working sooo hard. Well a lot of people work harder and longer and never, ever make in their lifetimes what NBA stars make in one year. NBA players are very, very, very, very blessed and should act accordingly. As much as I admire their talent, their arrogance and lack of perspective is astounding.

      Millions of Americans are unemployed and underemployed. Millions are victims of domestic crime. Millions are being robbed of their potential by rotten government schools and the politicians that support them. Thousands of Americans have died in fruitless wars, Tens of thousands have come home crippled for life. Basketball championships are fun, not important.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • juskishi

      ah, once again another hater talking about something they have absolutely no knowledge of. if you had any clue, you would understand that dan gilbert gave leloser everything he wanted. lbj basically hand picked who was playing along side of him. ignorant people such as yourself talk about not getting stoudemeire and blame it on the cavs front office. what you don't realize is the reason that trade wasn't made was because lequit didn't want the cavs to trade away jj hickson. so you and the other morons like you who think they know what they're talking about should just shut their trap and get back to working whatever minimum wage job you have and keep dreaming about a miami heat championship that will not come. i mean, can miami heat fans actually be called "fans" anyway? you're a bunch of bandwagon trolls who don't actually care about the sport anyway. but i guess it gives you something to do while you're not wasting away in the "miami heat." losers......

      June 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. slewatha

    I kind of find it weird how this final was more about one persons failure than another teams success. My FB posts were full of people laughing at LB and not even mentioning the Mavs. I think the general mentality of sports fans lately is one of bitterness rather than love of the game.

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

      You right

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

      People just like to see an arrogant jerk get what's coming.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jim Kap

    Its still Cleveland, still dingy, still cold and gray 8 months a year.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • M Grant, Parma, OH

      Sorry we don't have lots of colorful T&A walking around Cleveland all year 'round.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Toronto fan

    don't forget about Chris both too... He also didn't deserve no ring....

    Dirk and the Mavs are a great story and deserved to win too....

    June 13, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  5. James

    Incredible to see so many people rejoice because of someone else (in this case Lebron) misery for losing in the finals. But you can't really blame Cleveland fans; they don't get many opportunities to celebrate, so I guess they take what they can.

    June 13, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Greg

    A guy on the street walks up to LeBron and asks for change for a dollar. LeBron hands him some change and the guy says "You only gave me 75 cents". LeBron replies "Sorry, but I don't have a fourth quarter."

    June 13, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      hey, look at that...more jokes stolen from 2nd graders

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

      oops....now my 8 yr old is saying that joke is SOOO last week....

      June 13, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Flash

    Rumor is that LeBron is considering a career change to hockey. Hockey doesn't have a 4th quarter and neither does LeBron

    June 13, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  8. Gator Brock

    Uh...I think posting one of the worst records in recent years is actually considered a "choke"...which is exactly what Cleveland did. Get over yourselves...an athlete left your city for bigger $$. You've got to get past this to regain any respect as a sports town...it's just business.

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

      The Cavs have the 1st and 4th pick in the draft. If they don't choke and get the wrong players they should be good again relatively soon.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ed yount

    cleveland is a garbage dump and their fans are like a teenage girl that got used by the star qb of a h.s. football team and on to something better.. no matter what the fans of cleveland and thier loser dead end teams in fact will always be a bunch of unemployed fat bald losers hahahaha i love it

    June 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. David M

    LeBron is under the mistaken impression that the NBA exists for him and that without him the NBA would fold like a cheap table. He seemed to overlook the fact that the other teams are out to win as well and they are not intimidated by him and his fellow thugs....I mean team mates. You ain't all that LeBron. Get used to it.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Patrick

    Time to take the spotlight and Ink away from Miami, and start marveling at the true talent. Celebrity does not win championships.

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

    I am a Dallas native and sure I was rooting for Mavs to win. But in all this LeBron story, I think Lebron is a good talented player but he needs a lesson or professional help in how to be humble and not be so proud (atleast in front of the media. mocking Dirk was a BIG no-no with cough. He seemed very immature for his age and talent. Just my opinion. Arrogance is self destructive which happened to Lebron yesterday. Never "underestimate" your enemy in this case Mavs. GO MAVS.....!!!!! Proud of you the way you won and handled Lebron with action NOT words.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. M Grant, Parma, OH

    I am so glad baby Lebron got burned on high heat!

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

    Going to the FINAL is nothing to sneer about! I did not see CLEVELAND there.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Toronto fan

    that is pro sports now. Guys leave for the mighty dolla...

    that's the problem unless you are a big market club ala the Heat... That is why it is funny that the super team, particularly basketball where three guys can make a team and they lose....

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

      1 minute video summing up the essence that is Cleveland – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysmLA5TqbIY . Fun times in Cleveland town yeah!.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • redhope

      WOW!!! I am convinced all of the Cleveland fans, the owner and the players are all idiots! Have you forgotten about your record this year??? And while the Mavs have 'healed' Mo William's 'HEART', who is going to fix his game, because he does not have one!!! He suck, the Cavs suck, and Dan Gilbert suck! And even with 10 #1 draft picks, they will still suck! Which is why LeBron left!!! And this is coming from a Celtics fan! The Heat will be back in the Finals, and will win a ring....The Cavs have a better chance at winning the World Soccer Cup than an NBA Championship!

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

      redhope, you obviously are a LeBron apologist. Here's the deal: you can leave home, just don't spit in the fans' face with an hour long special. Plain and simple – if LeBron hadn't run his mouth about "5,6,7+" Championships, the folks of Cleveland would have been FAR more forgiving. Talk a buncha sh1t about how awesome you are, you better back it up, or else people make fun of you. And rightly so. Defending a blow-hard over-hyped guy like LeBron while you slag down Cleveland shows that you're just like LeBron – a talker without the closeout skills to back it all up.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boston James

      I hate the Heat, but this argument is flawed, particularly when it's made by people from large markets claiming to be small. Toronto is a much bigger city than Miami. It's not the rest of the league's fault if fans don't care.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
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