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. asdf

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysmLA5TqbIY&w=560&h=349]

    June 13, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. go to your mansion, I don't care

    Joe, don't be a clown. Are we not allowed to hate a player if they are black? What about Jordan? He got a free pass by the press because he acted with class around the court. Truth is Jordan cheated on his wife and gambled more money away than 99.5% people will ever earn. Because if it was a race issue, no one would watch the NBA so stop playing the race card.

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

      Jordan would be crucified in today's media as well

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

      you can't fix stupid....and joe is one stupid mother fu....

      June 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dun Garees

      "Truth is Jordan...gambled more money away than 99.5% people will ever earn."

      It's irrelevant; Whatever Jordan gamlbled was his money, not money that he was borrowing or money that he needed for other expenses. Saying he gambled more money away than others will earn is like suggesting he should buy the same car or a similar house to what other people would buy. Like it or not, the wealthy or rich spending on what they want isn't illegal and it's not immoral.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. asdf

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysmLA5TqbIY&w=640&h=360]

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

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

    Really? Yet all of these people who are sports fans wear their jerseys and pay to see them? thats pretty ignorant.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Wayne

    Lebron is ghetto trash with no class

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

      that would make everyone from cleveland ghetto trash....

      June 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. asgardshill

    I've never been to Cleveland in my life. But some of those guffaws you're hearing when LeBron James' name comes up are mine.

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

      >I have never been to Cleveland in my life.
      Wow you are lucky. Trust me you haven't missed anything but crippling depression in rush belt city falling apart (at least the river pollution hasn't caught fire lately).. The ultimate Cleveland tourism video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysmLA5TqbIY

      June 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jennifer

    LeBron is such a joke. Congrats Dallas you guys deserve it!!!!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Zach

    Go mavs!

    June 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Wayne

    Go fishing Lebron. Maybe you will have better luck at that then basketball

    June 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • jerseydevil

      Let's all jump on the Lebron hate train, yeah yeah yeah, it's fun....but are we going to forget that he is the best player in the league? He choked, certainly, and we were all happy to see it, but I think any real fan would HATE to see him quit.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. asdf

    It would be easier to hate Lebron if he did that to any other city but Cleveland. Cleveland the dump where jobs and people have been leaving for a long time to better pastures so why hate on one man?

    June 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. LeBronSays

    What should I do? Should I shoot the ball in the basket? Should I recruit the rest of the guys in the league to play on my team? What should I do? Should I play the full game? Should I play a full Series? Should I remind you that I've choked like this before?
    What should I do?

    June 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Go Heat!

    Hey Moose Knuckle, I don't need a spray on tan, because I don't live next to a frozen, toxic lake. But don't feel too bad, even thought Leaveland is a dump, as least it's not Detroit.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. clevelandfanalltheway

    Better than MJ, cmon scottie........ LBJ, 7-6=1...i guess its gonna be 6 rings now....

    June 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. clevelandfanalltheway

    OOOOPs, i meant 7-1=6... yeahh yeahh i know...

    June 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Glades2

    Proof once again that even millionaires can't buy grit and team spirit in order to win a championship...

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

      Nor the people of Cleveland. I know it is a lousy city, they have nothing better to do than spite others.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
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