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

    I don't think he handled the media nearly fierce enough. They use their articles and tv appearances to ATTACK people they don't like, in sports normally black superstars. Stop sitting on your hands black men and fight back! Today it is Lebron, yesterday it was Tiger, tomorrow it may be YOU!

    June 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • PithyMcGee

      How in the hell was Tiger ever attacked? Ohhh..... you mean he got sh1t for having an affair and wrecking his truck on Thanksgiving night? Yeah, well, every athlete in that position gets lambasted. James is hated because he's an egotistical jerk. Just because the bulk of society doesn't care for the childish and petulant ways of a spoiled guy who has NO ability to close a game doesn't make it racist. You're an alarmist, and you do a disservice to those who've actually experienced racism with your ridiculous allegations.

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

      I hate how Roger Clemens got blasted over steroids because he's black....

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

      oh but this is racism through and through. How is it a governor of a state with a CHILD out of wedlock to a woman NOT HIS WIFE can get off easier than a athlete? Easy, when the athlete is BLACK and the governor is WHITE

      June 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • PithyMcGee

      But Tiger didn't resign or lose an election. That's a pretty damn big difference.

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

      As long as morons like you are breathing and talking there will be racism. Stop already!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      you're a ret-ard....all of those people you listed are people that have done something wrong....PERIOD. a person who commits a crime IS a criminal regardless of skin color....Barry Bonds DID lie under oath and cheated at his sport, Tiger cheated on his wife, Vick brutally murdered dogs that failed to perform well in his illegal dogfighting/gambling ring,

      June 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      yeah I know when you can find a REAL crime that a black superstar has committed, you blow something up that he did that WASN'T criminal, like adultery or yelling at his mother...

      June 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Shut up you idiot....race has nothing to do with it.

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

      Hey Joe...how's that world of hate working for you?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jay

    le bron needs some humble pie for dinner to get a ring

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

    I agree, the people in Cleveland need to get a life. If things were different in Cleveland, LeBronmight still be there. Tell me you wouldn't move if you worked in a dead-in job and you had more to offer to another business. Both teams had a great season and look how long Dirk has been waiting for a championship. Congratulations to the Mavs and good luck new year to the HEAT!

    June 13, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • PithyMcGee

      It's not about moving – it's about HOW he moved. People have a right to despise the guy for his egomaniacal ways. He can't close a game. Crowing about how you're going to win "5,6,7+ Championships" will land you on the hot seat when you don't show up like you'd promised. That's fair.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • dadatruth

      In the midst of hate-filled rants, a sign of rational speech. Excellent and couldn't agree with you more!

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

      Nancy, you hit it on the head!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Toronto fan

    dirk is what a player should be and deserved the championship. Two of the best players on the planet are on one team and they lose... This what should have happened.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dan Tanna

    Hmmmm. Maybe it wasn't Cleveland after all. Maybe it's LeBron that's the problem.

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

      that's why the went from having the best record in the NBA last year to the worst record this year..Yep..you nailed..Lebron was the reason they were not winning this year..Good Job genius!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. USArmyOverLord

    Well I would have liked the see the heat vs the lakers. I don't understand the hate toward Lebron though. Dallas swept the lakers... they were well on their way to winning anyway. I do hope to see the heat win, if the lakers are not in it 😉

    June 13, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Toronto fan

    Chris bosh sucks...

    June 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. paperchick

    so I guess he didn't take ALL his talents to Southbeach....All enough to get through the 3rd quarter!

    June 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Silfurca

    LBJ there is no shortcut to championship! I hope you've learned a lesson from this.

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

      His most important lesson was the direction to the bank.

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

      HA...he doesn't need directions to the bank....his lesson was the phone number to the pres of the bank.....when he wants something, the bank comes to HIM

      June 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. felix

    people need to let this go and get a life especially cleveland fans.. U guys had 8 seasons (cavs org) to get him a decent team to compete against the celts, magic,lakers, spurs etc.. these teams were not only loaded in talent but experience,,, the best they could do was a hobbled shaq and a 35 yr old jamison.. remember over half the players that has played for cleveland the last ten years besides lebron, could not go any other place an start on a team.. their record shows that.. he never said he was better mj.. no one is.. not kobe which he is great but he has also had great teams, that lost in the finals to better teams.. obviously indidvidual accolades do not mean anything to him.. personally i would have left cleveland to.. they would have definitely traded him away once they burned him out..

    June 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cars

    Now the Vancouver Canucks (Miami Heat of Hockey) have to lose to the Bruins, and everything will be OK.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Derrick J

    I guess Jason Terry (the REAL finals MVP) doesn't have to remove/cover the chamionship trophy tattoo now....

    June 13, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. LostFocus

    Why are the winner's of the NBA Finals being over-shadowed by the losers of the finals? So, Dallas didnt win the NBA Finals, James and the Heal lost the finals? Is that what happened? I guess the players with Gatorade and McDonald's commercials get more recognition then the ones with Championship rings.

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

      you touched on an amusing irony there.....people that hate LeBron say he sucks...apparently, he is so all-powerful that his actions alone dictate the outcome of the finals....

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

    It seems alot of people are missing the point. I don't think people truel hate Lebron. I also do not think anybody can question his talent. The issue has been how he carried himself the past year. I know people will always have something negative to say no matter what you do as a supperstar but you do not give them a reason to hate or treat you like they are doing now. Players have been traded in the past. Superstars have moved from one team to the other. The question is why is Lebrons situation beaing handled this way? I believe that these are question he may have to answer and try to challenge himself. That is waht mature people do. Instead of trying to say your life is better than them. Forgetting that it is this sam poor people that pay ticket, subscribe to cable, buy ur t-shirts and other things for you to be rich. When you disrespect those people, mother nature or the BIG MAN UPSTAIRS like he always say will also not be happy with you. He should just know that he handled things the wrong way and it blew up in his face. He should just get matured and he can win championships because we al know he is talented. Even his haters know that.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      white people, white men, at least the majority of them, DO hate rich black sports athletes. They hate Lebron.

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

      He ranted against the Cavs, bad mouthed all his former Cav team mates, cursed the refs, called out his Heat team mates, gave many flagrant fouls when things weren't going his way. Like wake up, will you! I think he did do things a bit out of line at times, but this young guy is a class act, not perfect, but a class act.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • james Griffin

      Agree 100 percent!!!! Good advice.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. B=Dog

    lol it's not just Cleveland laughing... it's EVERYONE. CHOKER!!!!!

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