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. ghost

    Yes.... NBA is a dying sport without Jordan... Blacks don't care.

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

      I was a die hard basketball fan in the Jordan era. The league really lost the sparkle when he left. There were dozens of superstars and superteams then. I am 34 years old and I lost interest in all sports when Jordan first retired.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • realfan

      Why make such a racist comment? This is not a race issue. You obviously are not a fan of the game because basketball is clearly not a dying sport. Open up your eyes. You're just an idiot for saying that. Go kick rocks you coward! I bet you can't say that to any Black person's face.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Old Man Bron

    Bron looks like an old ass man.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. asdf

    Wow who to rip on more LeChoke or the mistake on the lake (Cleveland). Lebron is only one man whereas Cleveland is the armpit of the armpit state (Ohio) and has been stanking up the USA for centuries now. Theres always next year. Go Cavs we believe, shoot for the moon 25 wins for sure baby!.

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

      It's so hard to rip on Cleveland, nice original thought.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. alewatcher

    MeBron strikes again. Better luck next year, bro.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. NewsOrGossip

    Cleveland stop bullying this Black Man! It's played out. He fulfilled his contract in your city, and you're still bullying him for leaving. He's not your slave boy, get over it! Go help some tornado victims! This is pathetic broke America's mental state? No wonder you're broke!

    June 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • KIlovolt

      Nothing to do with slaves and keepin the black man down, brother. Lebron danced on Cleveland's grave, throwing an ESPN hour-long televised event to tell them he was ditching them rather than handling it with dignity and grace. He promised, unlimited championships and told everyone how easy it was going to be. Sucker.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ANGELA

    It is a SHAME people gain so much happiness from other people's demise. I bet most of you think you are a good Christian too, you hypocrites!!!!!!!! Nobody is perfect and all you naysayers sitting home need to thank God it's not you people are trying to drag through the mud.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • KIlovolt

      As your good book says – "As ye sow, so shall ye reap".

      June 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Agnostic

      Nobody's a good christian, since christianity is a plot to take money from decent people and create false hope that there's something to look forward to when u croak.

      Lebron still kills it in my books, nuff said

      June 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. asdf

    Hang in there Lebron it takes time but you set the right course. Even Art Model has to wait about 5 years to get the Cleveland stank off and to finally win a Superbowl.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      sorry, but b'more STILL reeks like cleveland....

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

    So, what's next for LeBron? Dump Heat and move to Mavs?

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

      he wasted 7 YEARS of his life on a $h!+hole like cleveland....that suggests that he'll give paradise a little more leeway....

      June 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Brightside

      says Rob, who's probably never been to Cleveland

      June 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Ben

    all this really does is show how pathetic cleveland really is

    June 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr Brightside

      Yeah, no other city's fan base would act this way if the biggest free agent in sports history left town the way Lebron did. Yep, only those dumb Clevelanders would be this sorry. Get real.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      Thank you for agreeing with me. Rather than blame Dan Gilbert for the way he runs his organization, let's blame the player we trapped in this awful city who left for greener pastures. The sad thing is, 9 out of 10 (and I'm being generous by saying only 9) would make the same decision. No one wants to live in Ohio. Everyone wants to live in Florida. All Cleveland is doing is whining because they went from best to worst, relevant to irrelevant, because of 1 man.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. carruth

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

    Your a racist Joe and the biggest hater out here posting this morning...you hate and your a total loser...get the chip of your shoulder you can't blame white people for your hateful life....oh well.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joe

    Cleveland is garbage. LeBron is too good for them anyway. And Lebron IS the best player in the NBA. He not even close to being "greatest of all time". But, he's the best player in the league right now. Ya, his performance wasn't all that great in the Final series, but you can't judge the man's skill off a botched series. I'm laughing at all the salty Cleveland fans (LeBron haters) that are still ball hangin'. Just goes to show you what a massive impact he has in the league. Grats to the Mavs! They were amazing in the series and the Heat just got outplayed. On to the next season...

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

      Everyone's a Cavs fan today!

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

      Nah, not a Cavs fan. I'm also not a fan of crybaby punks that throw a infantile fit because their "Jesus Christ" decided his flock wasn't doing anything for him anymore. Worse still, after all this time they still haven't let go. I'm not a fan of the circus act involved with him leaving. But give it a rest, people. LBJ is an amazing ballplayer. Patrick Ewing was an amazing player, too, and he never got a ring. There's plenty of time for LeBron.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jorge

    I asked lebron for a dollar he gave me 75 cents back he doesnt have a fourth quarter

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

      HAHA...another joker stealing lines from 2nd graders

      June 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. darling1

    LeBron needs to open his ears to an old school player like Magic or Kareem. He really needs a mentor. He is only 26 and has been left to make some decisions I think he will regret as he matures.....

    June 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  14. MONESE

    AT LEAST LEBRON PLAYED IN THE FINALS. WHAT DID CLEVELAND DO? I DON'T BLAME LEBRON FOR LEAVING THAT CITY. PEOPLE MUST HAVE LOST A LOT OF MONEY WHEN HE LEFT BECAUSE THIS BEHAVIOR DOES NOT REFLECT THAT OF BASKETBALL - A GAME.

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

      oooh, oooh...I know....they watched from home....

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

      hey cleveland, do you think the view was better from your couch or from the floor where the finals were played?

      June 13, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. MarC

    According to this article, these guys didn't play as a team, just a 1on1 deal and they almost won a championship? Scary... when they figure out how to play as a team don't ya think? = /

    June 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron N Maui

      Whatever! Great players, yes; good team, maybe. Right choice for Le Loser, NO. That boy should have been up in the windy city or stayed home. It will never happen for them.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
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