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. Basketball Fan

    First year together and Miami goes to six games. I am glad to have LeBron, D.Wade, and Bosh on our side. Now need some bench players like Dallas. No one could have beaten Dallas the way they played, no one. Heads up men, there are tons of folks behind you.

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

      Sign the rest of the league too, the Heat would have a pretty good chance of wrapping it up by game 5 then!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Immagirl

      I am a mavs fan and I respect the way you posted your comment. It is obvious these two teams were both great teams. However, the mavs wanted it more and were alot more determined. I know that sports superstars have huge egos stemming from the fact that a very young age they are told how awesome and better they are but the display that Wade and Lebrons showed during the finals were tacky and unsportmans like. They really should get their ego's in check. Especially Lebron, Wade can at least show his ring off, Lebron has yet to win one.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      No there aren't. Yes, there are some fans who idolize superstars no matter how arrogant and self centered they act, but there are WAY more (check out the polls) who appreciate team basketball and detest what LeBron, Wade, and Bosh tried to do the the sport. When Miami went through that brief stretch late in the season where they actually played like a team I was almost ready to cut them some slack, but their true colors showed in the final series and they deservedly got beat.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zero Hero James

      LeBron is a joke of "Superstar" and deserves nothing. He hasn't earned the respect he so desperately demands . The game of basketball needs icons like him to help true superstars rise to a level of genuine and appreciated greatness.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • miami hater

      you are incorrect basketball fan. Nobody is behind them, everybody hates them. Just because miami supports them does not mean everybody does. For the first year I can remember I had my friends and family who dont even watch basketball hoping that the heat would lose. That is how much james, wade, and bosh bother us all. Overpaid, over-hyped and absolutely no class out of those guys. Making fun of dirk after game 5...really? Who is laughing now? The spectacle that baby bron bron put on over the off season was ridiculous and what he did to his hometown was hard to watch. GROW UP IN MIAMI AND STOP TALKING! TALK IS CHEAP AND WE ARE ALL TIRED OF IT!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Papa

    Flordia ran out REAL LIFE STATE TAXES AND CASH....
    MORE Miami BAILOUT!!!

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

      LeBron James. He should've become Programmer or Medical doctor instead of getting FRAME MOCKED by people, trolls, classism, teens.

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

    Ok, I've read through about 8 pages of this story and it has been pure mudslinging for the most part. Can we talk about some basketball now?

    First of all, I think what some people mean is that the Cleveland team of 2007 won ZERO games in the NBA finals whereas, the HEAT won 2 games in the 2011 finals.

    I am a Miami HEAT fan and a big Dwayne Wade fan. Outside of the silly mocking of Dirk, that guy is a rather humble and endearing fellow. Hope he knows better for the future to leave the juvenille jokes behind.

    As for LeBron, I've never really been a fan of his, but I've recognized he has unenviable talent, but there is one huge glaring hole in his game which I will mention shortly. There was a time he could not hit a consistent 15-footer. He can do that now. There was a time when he could not hit 3-3 pointers in a game. He has become a decent threat from out there now. Just a few years ago, the guy could not hit 55% of his free throws. He is hitting them now (though he missed a few in this series). Clearly he has worked on improving his game. The one thing he CANNOT do well yet/or, with his body type, might NOT ever be able to do, is get to the basket consistently against a zone like Dwayne Wade can. Wade has the ability to slither and side-step and get to the basket. James is a mack truck who needs a clear lane or else he will either charge or travel. This is the key to stopping him WHEN, as this series turned out, his outside, late shot clock off-balanced 3s are not falling. Once this happens, he is pressured to "drive" and therein lies hs problems.

    So what is the one thing LeBron needs to work on now? How about using that 6'9" body of 250 pounds to POST UP? Learn some post up moves like Jordan did and Kobe emulated? He will be a better ball handler than most guys in the block and he will have better, polished moves because of his athleticism. In this way, he can have actual plays designed for him and gives him another wrinkle to confound defenses because he would still be a "point guard" threat when need be. So, he could be on one side of the block, Bosh on the other and Wade free to work in an open court with Bron and Bosh in position for offensive rebounding. If Lebron can hit the gym, get the stupid idea out of his head that he MUST have the ball to be effective and mix up his game based on the defense he is playing against, he would THEN get to the promise land. I mean, this dude had Kidd and Terry on him a couple of times, 10 feet from the rim and did nothing. Place Wade or Kobe in the same position and someone's getting schooled.

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

      Until Lebron figures out how to play like a champion with guts & balls out play especially in the 4th quarter, he's not going to win any championships. When Mario Chalmers plays more aggressive than the annointed one, then that's all I need to know about why he has no rings. Lebron still does not have the hunger or drive of MJ, Kobe, Magic, etc. Until he learns that, there will be no rings in Miami.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Listen, there's no place for intelligent analysis here...this is basketball and Lebron we are talking about...it's all about drama and storylines and money and ratings...ESPN and the twitter and the people don't care about X's and O's and sports, they care about flashy entertainment and drama.

      Please overanalyze and scrutinize Lebrons personal decisions or clothes or $$$$ or something else pertinant to the average sports fan today...

      June 13, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Most balanced, reasonable, and intelligent comment posted here by far, particularly for leaving the stupid whining & spiteful cat-calling behind for an honest analysis. Kudos, sir, and thank you!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • BT

      Totally agreed dude! get the guys some post moves please in my 6.3 frame i have more post moves than Lebron, he could truly be the man...

      June 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mik

    I would hate to live in a city where their best days is watching someone else lose. I would hate to see a bad day.

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

      you should be able to figure out that EVERY day is a bad day in cleveland....

      June 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      It can't be all that bad, Rob ... the river only caught on fire a couple times, after all.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. keylargo

    I don't hate Miami, Cleveland, rich men, or LeBron, but I do hate Basketball, the NBA version in particular, Its a tall mans version of the WWE!.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. C to the J

    Spite is so petty.
    Congrats to Cleveland for showing the rest of the US how immature you can be. And congrats on your 19 wins this season...lol

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

      Watch out for Cleveland in the next few years. Their draft picks of Irving and Kanter may be setting up a potential Cleveland v Miami ECF. Wouldn't that be sweet to watch!

      June 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Josh

    Cleveland is a bunch of haters. It was a business decision and there mad because they wont see a championship until 2059. Laugh at Lebron all day long but the guy was with Miami for one season and they went to the finals. That's pretty impressive. Im sure he will laugh all the way to the bank and his happy to be in the NBA getting paid millions of dollars. Poor poor Lebron!

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

      Oh c'mon, Lebron brought all this criticism upon himself. Only fans in Miami can't see this. After watching him talk after last nights game, Lebron is GREAT at talking like he's the victim. You reap what you sow. I don't think Cleveland fans would be as upset if Lebron's ego wasn't so big and he hadn't pulled that "Decision" stunt on ESPN. If he had made the decision to go to Miami without all the fanfare, then I think it would be a different story. Lebron talks a BIG game but has yet to back anything up. He's not a very soft player during crucial games. Hell Mario Chalmers was more agressive than the "King" in last nights game.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Immagirl

      It was not so much that he did move but the way he did it. I am from Dallas but I can understand cleveland's frustration. He used them as a stage for his ego.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Eugene Chu

    Maybe it was a bit disappointed the Lakers didn't make it to the Finals, but I am delighted the Heat failed to win their champ. I'd rather watch Kidd makes sweet passes than see three all-star clowns win the champ.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. PulTab

    funny to see so many people having such strong opinions over a GAME that grown men play. doesn't mean anything of importance in the overall scheme of things. not to mention, if it were any more boring, it would be soccer.

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

      You always got picked last in gym calss didn't you?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Hey "Ha! Ha!", you're still going to gym class, aren't you? Quitcher yappin' and take a lap, son! 😡

      June 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. joe

    I think Vegas should establish odds on who the sports media will establish as the black villain for the upcoming NFL season.

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

      actually, the root of your problem is that you DON'T actually think....

      June 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MrRight

    Meanwhile, LeBron James is laughing at Cleveland fans simple because they live in Cleveland and because he's a freaking MILLIONAIRE!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ih8MTV

      Cleveland would be a cool place to live if it wasn't in Cleveland.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tom Ford

    I don't really get what Cleveland has to be happy for, Miami losing doesn't do anything for them. Jesus, if Gilbert had handled this situation any more poorly, I'd have questioned whether he was five years old.

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

    Get a life people. This isn't a place to talk crap. If you have something to say that is actually productive, do so. If not, do it somewhere else.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      and who are you to attempt to dictate what others talk about and say?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      What are you talking about? This is the premier place for talking crap! You're the one who should go elsewhere if you don't want to read it. Besides, talking crap on (and reading) CNN comments doesn't mean one doesn't have a life – it usually means someone's bored & slacking off at work, so what you really should be telling people is – Get Back To Work!

      June 13, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. omar

    everyone make this whole thing about lebron james NBA finals is not just about Lebron James, is about every player that is in the NBA.....c'mon people Lebron is old news concentrate in something NEW.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David

    I don't know why cleveland hate lebron james.... they didn't help him and he's doing all the work for them. I would do the same thing as him, looking for another team with another good players that can help you. His career is not over. He will be back in finals again and he is 26 years old.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • amp77

      By now it should be abundantly clear that the problem in Cleveland was NOT lack of talent, it was LeBron himself. Otherwise, the Heat would have won.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Brightside

      The Cavs did all they could to entice him to stay

      June 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • ghost

      LeBron IS NOT THE NEXT MICHAEL JORDAN anymore. He's more like regular basketball player.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      if that was all they could do, then cleveland is even more pathetic that I had thought

      June 13, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • KIlovolt

      Ooh ooh, I know, pick me! They hate on Lebron because he blamed losing on his hometown. They hate on him because last night he rubbed your nose in his failure telling you, David, to go back to your nothing job while he revels in the money he made for losing. They hate on him because he mouthed off that winning was going to be easy now and he won a grand total of four more games at a cost of about $100 million more than in Cleveland. Everyones a Cav today!

      June 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • beelzabarber

      they dont hate him because he left. They hate him for HOW he left, stringing his hometown fans along. The guy is a TOOL. They should hate him.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      @amp77:

      You're absolutely correct. Clearly that's why Cleveland made it to the finals. Absolutely. Look, Lebron was Cleveland's ONLY hope at getting a championship. With him gone, the Cavs will just flop around for the next for years until they put their program back together.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
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