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. gloria

    Amazing!!! Lebron has left Cleveland and he still has them captivated!! Sitting around in bars, drinking and cheering at his every mistake like a bunch of scorned lovers! Grow up and get over yourselves!!! Just like you the man has a right to make decisions regarding how he lives his life. How many of you would hang on to a job you were dissatisfied with just because someone else wanted you to stay? It's called choices people!! And everyone has a right to make their own. Guess that's why you choose to sit around and whine 🙂

    June 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      as much as they hate to admit it, LeBron is STILL the center of cleveland's universe...

      June 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      You are right, everybody has choices! Although, Lebron made the worse one by leaving Cleveland. You made your bed Lebum! Now Sleep in it!!! Loser!

      June 13, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • dee

      You really dont get it do you. Its not that he left its the classless greedy approach that he took to his departure. Its the classless arrogant approach he took to making big promises that apparently are not as easy as Mr James made them sound.

      Its the way that he did it.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tony B

      It isn't that he left, it is the manner in which he left. Guaranteeing they would win a championship, showing no class to the Cleveland fans. If a worker leaves for another job and badmouths his previous employer, that will come across as low class and the people at the previous employer will resent it.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. thunderup

    I could understand Cleveland's being upset with the guy a YEAR ago but how do you think your own team feels that you care more about this one man than you care about them. They were about as PATHETIC a team as you can get this past year without Lebron. You had a chance to put it to him when he came to Cleveland the first time and he obliterated you. Your owner is STILL opening his mouth about it when he should be more worried about why his team is the first overall pick. If I didn't know any better I would have thought the entire team moved to Miami the way Clevelanders talk. You still have a team amazingly enough and they are horrible. Do I condone the way Lebron did it, no. Does he have a lot of maturing to do, yes. Did he proverbally slap the city of Cleveland and it's basketball franchise across the face this year, absolutely. He may not have won it but he proved why leaving was the right choice.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vee

      I agree with your statement. LeBron James is one person–he made a career decision that affects him ONLY, and that he had a right to make.. The fact that Cleveland and its leadership are still bashing him a year later shows us exactly why he left. His 'The Decision' special was only a big deal because people flocked to see it: LeBron himself should not be ridiculed because so many people find HIM so newsworthy. And he donated all of the proceeds to charity anyway. He did not profit from that announcement, or the way he made it at all so I don't understand why that is still being discussed either. Excuse me–but I thought that Miami Heat lost the championship–not (only) LeBron James. its a disgrace how much time and energy has gone into bad-mouthing this one man. Yes, he has some growing up to do–who doesn't at his age? I know I did. I also wasn't a multi-millionaire with people all over the world watching my every move.He's human-leave him alone and worry about your own lives. I am happy for Dallas, but I hope the Heat win it all next year to shut some of these negative, miserable haters right up. Damn shame how our culture THRIVES on the negative–and wonders why other countries hate us.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • biggal195

      It's a da** shame how many comments I've read from the "We love LeBron" side wishing all of Ohio dead. Several specifically wished that Ohioans would all commit suicide. But I guess that's not negative and that's not hating. And no–I don't live in Ohio, never have lived in Ohio and never have lived within 800 miles of Ohio. Maybe you folks are the ones who "need to get a life."

      June 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • thunderup

      I actually don't live in Ohio either my friend. I'm not hating on people from Ohio either. I'm not even a Lebron supporter. I could care less that the Heat lost. My point is that people are still talking as though it was Cleveland against Lebron in the finals. Last I checked Dirk and co. plays in Dallas, not Cleveland.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. derwildboy

    No loyalty in business. Dan Gilbert tries to make you you feel like Lebron was truly a traitor, but what about all the players the just wake up one morning to realize they have been traded by the team. Then its just a business decision on the owners part. I truly disagree with the way Lebron when about the whole manner, but he had every right to leave the Cavs!
    Thats what makes the USA such a beautiful place to live.... F

    June 13, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      Most people have no real problem with James leaving Cleveland. The real problem is the sheer arrogance je exhibited in doing so!!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • gloria

      I totally agree!

      June 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      damn LeBron for forcing ESPN to have a hour long special....oh wait a sec....it was ESPN that did all that...it was demanded by the fans every time they made him the most important aspect of the NBA.

      June 13, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CDB

    Lebron is NO Michael Jordan. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Scotty...

    June 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. derwildboy

    There is No loyalty in business. Dan Gilbert tries to make you you feel like Lebron was truly a traitor, but what about all the players that just wake up one morning to realize they have been traded by the team. Then its just a business decision on the owners part. I truly disagree with the way Lebron went about the whole manner, but he had every right to leave the Cavs!
    Thats what makes the USA such a beautiful place to live.... FREEDOM OF CHOICE!

    June 13, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      AGREED!

      June 13, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry Vinter

      Agreed.

      Then you would be happy to admit that expecting fan loyalty is also a little outmoded, isn't it? Why bother to add "Miami" before the "Heat", or "Cleveland" before the "Cavaliers"?

      Speaking of freedom of choice, Lebron James exercised his when he left his hometown. Now, his former fans are exercising theirs. America is wonderful.

      (I am a Detroit Pistons fan, so I do not have a dog in this fight.)

      June 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ian

    What is even more funny is the Cavs 19-63 record 2nd worst in the NBA without. Now THAT is funny.

    He'll win one eventually.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  7. er

    i bet lebran and wade wish they wouldn't had made fun of dirks col

    June 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Frank Henry

    Miami heat sucks!

    June 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Amy

    Karma Cleveland....what goes around....comes around. YOU ARE LOOKING A LOT LIKE THE CHARLIE SHEEN OF THE NBA! If you don't stop and grow up...WHEN Miami wins....we will all be laughing at you! It is just SAD! THE HEAT PLAYED THEIR BUTTS OFF! Just how many teams in the NBA have even made it to the Finals with a team that has only played together for one season????? They are Champions....but Cleveland....still just a crappy little town in OHIO with very little chance of getting better with time.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. joe

    Right now there is a vacuum with no black athletes for the media to hate on. They have to wait until football season or when Tiger Woods plays another tournament. This is a sad day for the sports media. When the lockout ends they can have their fun again attacking Cam Newton.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      shut up, racist

      June 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Frank Henry

    Miami – Money can't buy a winning team. Practice Practice Practice makes a team perfect!

    June 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  12. irongoat81

    the glee in cleveland is palpable. consolation prize accepted!! little taste of your own mister self proclaimed "king".. HA.

    June 13, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. David

    Ha...The joke is on Cleveland...at least he was on a team that made it to the playoffs regardless if they won or not. Get over yourself Cleveland...You still have the Indians and the Brownies...well..never mind...hehehehehehe...

    June 13, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. LeeVA

    This whole article is a joke. The Miami Heat made it to the finals after a single season. Where was Cleveland?

    June 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. er

    go mavericks first time in history!hopefuly we win next year but i doubt it.but the hope is still their,and the will of the team

    June 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
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