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. BH

    A lot of Cleveland fans incl the owner reminds me of a man who has a girlfriend that he's in love with, she has all his desired characteristics in a woman. The girlfriend leaves the guy, now she is so undesirable because he can't have her anymore. Get over it Cleveland and your loser owner, great Finals!! Its funny Lebron was a winner making a lowly Cleveland franchise perennial contenders for Eastern Conference Finals. Now he is Loser???

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

      Absolutely correct! It is called spite...if you can't have something you want you bash it and act like you never wanted it to begin with.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJsWinner

      I must agree even though I am a Cavs fan. Lebron was great in a Cavs uniform. He made all those around him play better. When the team was struggling, he would take over the game and win it for us more often than not. I bear him no ill will for leaving Cleveland, and I am sure there will be more chances for him.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jerome Horowitz

    I'm just glad Jason Kidd got a ring.

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

      the pathetic thing is that you are acting as if being black is a handicap...YOU are a racist to your core

      June 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I wonder if he slaps Jomama after she takes it from him.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. joe

    well now that the NBA is over who will the media and white sportsfan declare as their black villain for the upcoming NFL season? Michael Vick? Burress? Cam Newton? Who?????

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

      every black person that reads that comment is shaking their heads and thinking "this joe guy is a t-ard"

      June 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      most with common sense will agree with me

      June 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      last year it was Vick; one white man stated he should be killed. Who will it be this year????

      June 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Vick SHOULD be killed....he is an evil and disgusting person....he committed atrocious crimes and STILL hasn't paid his debt. He was never tried for brutally killing those 8 dogs. He only went to prison for bankrolling an illegal gambling operation. He didn't even finish his sentence for that despite the fact that his sentence was lighter than he would have gotten if he wasn't a celebrity...

      June 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      thanks for proving my point white man

      June 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      yeah, you are still a ret-ard....and a racist to your core...being black is not a handicap, so stop acting like it is....maybe being YOU is the handicap...

      June 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      They all look and smell the same.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • texwake

      Im sorry is Brett Farve not white enough for you?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terrel

      Please ignore him. He doesn't speak for us black people who have any shred of real intelligence!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terrel

      And Matt your racist comment isn't helping anyone. Grow up!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ed Sr

    Am sick of a lot of these athletes..............LeBron as an example just gets out of HS.......gets paid MILLIONS of dollars for bouncing a brown ball down the court as MILLIONS of children and older people are not eating enough for lack of money............this idiot lives in a mansion and STILL is a "cry baby".....nobody likes me............he is the lowest form of life on this earth...............our "gladiators" are ALL overpaid for playing a GAME no matter whether it be basketball...football...or baseball..........turns my stomach to see these guys get MILLIONS while others who are REALLY in need suffer..............LeBron, kiss my patootee.........................

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

    the Heat had almost as many wins in the playoffs alone this season than the cavs had over the entire regular season and playoffs combined.

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

      But if Lebron stayed the Cavs would have lost in the Finals

      June 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Brian

    Everybody commenting back and forth is actually kind of funny. The bottom line is Miami and the big 3 did not get it done this year. Simple nobody can argue with that fact when it mattered most the Miami Heat did not show up. It doesn't make sense to argue that Miami almost won the championship. Almost does not count are the Heat going to get a trophy and a ring that says almost champions? Second place is first losers boys don't forget that this summer. Congrats to the real winners the World Champion Dallas Mavericks

    June 13, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chris

    For those of you questioning why Cleveland fans are jazzed about LeBron losing, let's not forget the terms on which he left Cleveland. He strung ownership and management (the folks that did everything they could to put a team around him) along, and then bailed, leaving little opportunity for ownership to rebuild in time to put a respectable team on the court.

    I am an Orlando Magic fan, and needless to say, a similar situation might happen with Dwight Howard. If he decides to leave to go to a 'bigger market' after ownership did their best to put a solid team around him (and, oh, by the way, built the best arena in the NBA....), I would like to think that he would man up and let folks know so that the whole franchise can begin the rebuilding process after the departure.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matt

    You know the funniest part? Cleveland is STILL in Ohio! Even Dan Gilbert doesn't want to live there. Faulting a man for bettering himself and his family by switching employers is silly.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • steeve-o

      He didn't do it to better his career or for his family... he did it because he wanted to win the big game.

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

      He took a pay cut to go to Miami, so his family is worse off now.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Brandon

    More like joke on Miami. They go out and spend beaucoup bucks for talent, but still far short.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      losing the finals in 6 is "far short"?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gar

      Yes, look at their financials, they lost a ton of money this year.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. R

    AT THE END OF THE DAY THE MAVS AND HEAT SHOULD BE CONGRATULATED FOR BEING THE BEST TWO TEAMS IN THE NBA THIS YEAR, AND WHILE THERE IS DISAPOINTMENT IN MIAMI TODAY, IF YOU WOULD HAVE TOLD ME LAST SUMMER THAT THE HEAT WOULD BE IN THE FINALS AFTER ONLY ONE YEAR TOGETHER I WOULD CALLED YOU CRAZY. KUDOS TO THE MAVS, THEY DESERVE TO BE CHAMPIONS. THE HEAT WILL ONLY GET BETTER FROM HERE ON OUT AND THE FUTURE LOOKS BRIGHT.........R

    June 13, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jpalm

    Proof once again that Lebron James can't even be compared to MJ.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Two different eras and two different games styles. Lebron is so much bigger than Jordan. I don't think Jordan could have guarded Lebron. Not sure if Lebron could have guarded Jordan either, but comparing the two is impossible.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. joe blows

    @joe Do you not remember the 2006 Finals? White german Dirk was creamed for being so soft, timid, etc.
    Tiger Woods? I love him. He is 90% of the reason I watch/play golf, however he deserved the flak he caught. He isn't alone in that either. Look at how Bill Clinton is and was vilified. Not to mention look at what WHITE Anthony Wiener is dealing with. He only sent photos! Tiger was b###s deep. Its not a black thing.
    People just love to see other people fail when they are appoint to places of prestige. Or by off season "Decisions"......

    June 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      pathetic people like to see other fall as it makes them feel better about their lack of success

      June 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe blows

      +1 to that man.

      It's the world we live in now. I was just saying that weird perversion transcends races.
      People go to watch the wrecks, not the drivers.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Tiger is not a politician. No athlete has EVER been attacked like this for affairs. NONE

      June 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe blows

      And no one has ever boasted about their own prowess like Lebron did last summer. About how amazing they were. About how unbeatable they will be. No on has done it. Not once, twice, 3, 4, 5, 6, or seven times.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Faith

    Well, I'm a girl. So, that's real nice to say. YOU SUCK. And, you are RUDE and you are an ass. Go to hell.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • a

      who are you talking to, lebron? yes he does suck

      June 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. millhouse

    If Lebron had the hunger and desire of Jordan or Kobe, in the sense of stepping on the others team throat to win it all, the Heat probably would have won this series in 4-5 games. However, he looked like he just goes through the motions assuming things will work out. He may have great talent for his size, but talent can only take u so far if you dont have those intangibles that the all-time greats have had.

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

    LeBron choked on his ego.

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

      Karma, Karma, Karma!!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
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