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. JackT

    LeBron James is a large person, but a SMALL man! His ego barely fits into that large frame. I wish him the worst.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      What does that say about you? pathetic

      June 13, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      If wishing him the worst is going home to a multil million dollar on Star Island, making 15 mill + endorsements a year, then I hope you wish me the worst too..You obviously have the magic touch!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Big Picture

      Money doesn't buy you happiness...and neither a NBA Championship Ring! LOL

      June 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  2. David

    Dirk brought his talents to South Beach last night.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • jdurand

      Actually, not so much. Dirk's game was not top shape. The rest of the Mavs just stepped up to make up the difference, which is how a team should work.

      Not something a team like the Heat would really understand, I don't think.

      June 13, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • stephen

      this comment cracked me up,great line....

      June 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jason

    Cleveland really doesn't have anything to laugh about. Besides the junior varsity high school girls they're trying to pass off as an NBA team.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  4. JMinPHX

    At least they made it to the finals. Win or no win, they were there.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Moose Knuckle

      Yeah, it is like almost getting laid.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. bill

    Only Cleveland fans would revel in Miami's loss as the Cavs players watched the finals from their homes. Grow up folks – in pro sports there is no fan loyalty from the players...it's all about the money.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. VoiceOfReason

    I don't get it. What does LeBron owe to Cleveland? Something special 'cause he was born near there? Or went to school near there? Or started as a pro there? Name ANY major sports star that played his/her career out like that? Is Nowitzki from Dallas? Kobe from LA? I'm no LeBron fan -in fact, I'm not a fan of ANYone- but when I see displays like Clevelanders are putting on… They all look like a buncha losers that never do anything but drink Pabst Blue Ribbon and wait till Monday morning, when they can punch their clocks and try to find something else miserable to whine about.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • JRSachs

      Cal Ripkin Jr grew up near Baltimore and played his entire career in Baltimore and for the home town hero to jump to the Yankees or Boston is just as bad a LeBron jumping to Miami. I feel players should be paid appropriately, but free agency has destroyed professional sports.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • jfc1

      JRSachs, you're an idiot.
      Ripken CHOSE to stay with Baltimore for all that time just as much as Baltimore chose to keep him.

      PLENTY of owners have traded-away hometown favorites just as much as free-agents have chased money and favorable contracts around the league.

      You say that it has destroyed sports? Without it sports would essentially be athletic slavery, the way it was before free-agency. It's been a major plus not the minus you want to make it out to be.

      So LeBron wanted to leave Cleveland, he's got every right to do that just as anyone else would who wanted to leave Cleveland. And in my opinion he's just exposed the bitter ugly truth about people from Cleveland: a lot of them are just a bunch of jealous whiners who want to leave but can't.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. Various Authors

    I am not a Cavalier fan, or a Dallas fan, or a Miami fan. I don't even like basketball. But I am sooooo enjoying the fact that a team with one white superstar beat a team with 3 black superstars. HA! Call me a racist, I don't care. This is SWEET!

    June 13, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • jfc1

      ...you're a racist and a dreamer both.
      Nowitzki isn't a superstar, and the Heat have only two superstars, maybe one now even.

      And certainly you don't think that this 37 year old white guy led the team to victory, do you? If so you're an idiot as well as a racist dreamer. He wasn't hitting shots in Game 6 and Jason Terry picked up the team and carried it to victory.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • jdurand

      You're stupid it what you are.

      The Mavs won because they played as a team. With the Mavs it isn't about one player, white or black. It is about the team working together to get the job done. Dirk, Chandler, Terry, Kidd, Berea...they all worked their butts off supporting each other.

      Take your racist garbage back to you cave, troll.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • I agree

      What you said is NOT racist, and I am black...it's normal...kinda like how us Black people feel about OBAMA. Anyone who denies this is only lying to themselves!! Congrats to Dallas and Dirk, you were clearly the better team!!! KUDOS

      June 13, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • stephen

      what color is jason terry,grey?get a color tv....

      June 13, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. 123abc

    Most don't get why Cleveland loved seeing Lebum alias the chosen one, alias the king lose. It's not because he took another job. He quit playing in the Clev/Boston series the last 2 games!! Go back and watch. He threw the games because it was planned that he was going to Miami. If he would have put forth the effort, they might have won the championship. He didn't want to win it because THEN he would have to stay in Cleveland. So he's basically is in the same place, except he didn't quit this series, he just played like a regular player not a superstar. So the country is loving laughing at him!

    June 13, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Same Old Cleveland

      So if he "threw" the two games, then does that mean that he didn't have any help behind him? Had to do it all by himself? No wonder he went to Miami. (And I could have sworn he had 29 points in the final game against the Celtics in 2010 – hardly the stats of someone who "threw" a game.)

      June 13, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  9. cc in cleve

    wow lebron
    i have been blessed my entire life, you are not better than me. seeing you 3 stooges lose was a pretty thing to see. mavs are a class act. watch and learn from them leboob.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. GP

    I don't get why they're laughing.. he won the Eastern Conference and made a good run in the finals while they sunk to the 2nd worse record in the NBA. Not a Heat fan but seems like they're the beginning of a dynasty while Cleveland may never get back to the level they were at with Lebron.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. JRSachs

    What would we have said if Magic Johnson had left LA for Boston, or Michael Jordan went to the Lakers in the prime of their careers? Cleveland and the rest of the basketball universe are happy to see LeBron on the loosing side.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. David

    I think this was good for the NBA. If this league becomes a few dreams teams where players culled to win championship at the expense of parity, no one including me will watch.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • jfc1

      yeah, sure: right

      you won't watch a few good teams with most of the good players who get that way because of the smart GMs and the owners with deep pockets, vs the current situation now where you have a few good teams with most of the good players who get that way because of the dumb GMs working for owners who tried to buy superstars and championships then had to dump the players when they couldn't afford to fill out the team.

      sure THAT will turn you off NBA basketball.

      June 13, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  13. jfc1

    Dallas may have won, but the Heat were only two games away from winning the series.
    If LeBron really stank up the joint that badly, if he was really all that disinterested, then I wouldn't be all that happy. That's still a hell of a team. If he actually shows up in the Finals for every game then it could be all over but the crying.

    June 13, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • 123abc

      Hell of a team means nothing when you loose it in 6. The hell of a team won it, and the stooges lost it. I hope they learned not to brag about a dynasty starting.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • TrailStrider

      There's a lot of if's in that statement!

      June 13, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • TTall

      Including regular season games, Mavs beat Heat 6 games to 2.

      June 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • smeal

      It is over and they are crying in miami, some peoples kids?

      June 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. steve

    the big 3 arent' as good as "they" think and say they are. typical chokers who can only talk but never walk the talk!
    Way to go Mavs

    June 13, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Joy

    I think it's funny how lebron and Dwayne n bosh are so arrogant and immature this is basketball I swear if I had the chance to tell them they are full of themselves I wouldn't hesitate

    June 13, 2011 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Ahmad

      Jerzey4Ever / peeps upset b/c he took the easy way that gives him a higher prbotbiliay of winning NBA championships. there's 3 superstars playing in miami and lebron is the 4th. now there's 4 olympic basketball players playing for the heats. the other teams really don't have any good players on them.

      December 31, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
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