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. mick

    ha ha, we were laughing at Bosh in Toronto too! Loser, traitorous loser!!
    Way to go Mavs

    June 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Stan

    This sounds very much like the theme of the movie " Miracle ". A team has to play as a team, and not allow individuals of that team to act like they are the only factor in winning. One or a few superstars don't make a team.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Michelle

    I liked Lebron's remarks about his critics – at the end of the day his family is more important. And anyway, how on earth can anyone blame a guy for leaving Cleveland for Miami?! I have nothing against Cleveland, but come on, people – MIAMI!

    June 13, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jimbo

    Well put Mavs.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ohio man

    for all you people that say at least he played in a finals .. did you just wake up last night .Did you 4get he went to the NBA final with Cleveland and lost .. and went to the eastern conf, finals twice and lost .. he had a better team with cleveland .. had he stuck it out they would have won a ring much quicker.. he needs to learn how to step his game up when it matters .. and he has yet to prove that he can.. thats the problem .. all the greats have had bad teams at 1 time or another but they stuck with it and made the regular players around them better and then became champions .. thats the test of a tru champion ..

    June 13, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      put the crack pipe down....

      June 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ghost

    Recession.... I was hoping the next harlem renaissance would heal recession. BUT FAILED.

    We got OBAMA failing to fix the economy. Michael Jackson dies. Shaq retires. Oprah retires. LeBron James lost Championship. WHAT THE ?!!?!?

    June 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Ahh...politics on an article about sports. You sir are a winner.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jo JO

    Come on...He's not MJ...give him a break. 3 players cannot beat 10 players from Dallas. I still think he is a great player, but just not MJ.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. BOBBY1

    LEBRON IS VERY SIMPLY OVERRATED. HE IS A BETTER THAN AVERAGE @ BEST, THATS ALL!

    June 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  9. g chill

    Cleveland is laughing at LeBron. They should be laughing at the season their basketball team had. Who wouldn't want to leave Cleveland. It will still take the Cavs a decade or two to get to the playoffs and finals. So as the artical says the Cavs fans were laughing at LeBron, I bet he's laughing at you too... while he's laughing his way to the bank. Ha Ha Ha Ha !!!!!!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      EVERYONE wants to leave cleveland....they are just bitter than LeBron had the ability to do so while the rest are stuck in that $h!+hole

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

      I have a few greenbacks I'd like to wager on that.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. smurf

    well SHOCKING nobody blamed Obama yet haha Labron James.. HA HAAA you lost

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

    I feel the same. How can someone tell you where you have to work for. We all choose a job that we like a company that take care of you and a city that is fun to live on. I suport Jams although I am a celtic fan I hope he and his team does not beat us up in the next 10 years. I think this lose will make him and his team better though.

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

    Why are they treating Lebron so bad? Just like any JOB, you put in your time, you give your loyalty to a point, and then you move on. It's that way in corporate America, why are they treating him like he was their SLAVE and they owned him? I'm glad he moved onto the Heat; the way Cleveland fans have been acting since he left, it's clear they didn't REALLY appreciate him.

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

    At the end of the day, I'd much rather be me than you, LeBron.

    June 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      that's a lie

      June 13, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim Jones

    LeBron is another Shaq – thinking that he is the best in the world. He came to the Heat with his overblown ego and basically said that he is the star and Wade can take a hike. That is not how you play the game. Team like San Antonio have been very successful because they played like a team without big mouths and big egos and all good sharing respectful players. When you have an "ego" on your team and you take it up yourself, you lose. The King is nothing but a wimp!

    June 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Brian

    Please Dwight Howard give us a hour long special live from the boys and girls club to tell the world where your going and where your taking your talents to. And then gurantee your team a championship,by having an over the top pep rally without winning anything and then celebrate winning the second round of the playoffs like it was the NBA finals, and then after that when all is said and done fade away in game 6 of the finals and win absolutely nothing

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