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. CMFP

    Hi, I'm from Dallas... WHY IS A MIAMI HEAT PLAYERS PIC ON THE HOME PAGE? WE WON!!!!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      well apparently, the haters think that the Mavs didn't win so much as the heat lost....

      June 13, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marlon

      Like Dallas is a real basketball city. Who will give you props. When you win like the Dallas Cowboys then you will get props – like San Antonio. Right?!!!!

      June 16, 2011 at 3:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Lora

    Can someone please put that caption and picture on a t-shirt! I'm sure it would be a top seller in Cleveland!

    June 13, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      they have no jobs or money in cleveland....why do you think they place is so pathetic and dirty....they have no pride in themselves or their city...

      June 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AzHitman

    Is this the over-inflated self-deluded chump who held a four hour special program for himself? lol. I have never even heard of this loser till then.

    Michael Jordan will always be the best.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      well, if you pay attention to little things like facts and reality, you'd know that ESPN had a ONE hour show because everyone put LeBron at the center of the basketball universe....there was a demand and ESPN supplied...

      June 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • AzHitman

      I'll give that as much credit as it deserves in the "basketball universe" of "reality" brought to you by "ESPN" lol

      June 13, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Greg Santos

    LeBron probably regrets this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkjddvcgG0k

    June 13, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tim

    OVERRATED!!! Never thought of someone being revered as a "King" would dethrone himself as the 2nd option on a team! A true champion has heart and will and can come out of anything! Congrats to the KING of the YEAR in the NBA "KING DIRK"

    June 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. magnoliamama001

    I totally agree cash679.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Eastern Guy

    Clevelanders are laughing? How far did their team get? Seems they don't have much to laugh at.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      They are laughing at LeChoke. You know, the guy who had to leave his team in search of a better one. You know, the guy who still can't get it done with 2 other superstars. You know, the same guy that calls himself the "king". Does this answer your question nimrod!

      June 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marlon

      Tim! Cleveland did not get nothing done. I mean nothing. THIS YEAR. SO TIM HOW CAN YOU TALK ABOUT A PERSON CHOKING. WHY ARE WE EVEN TALKING ABOUT THE CAVALIERS. THE CAV THAT ARE LIARS. Like the King says I AM THE ALPHA AND THE OMEGA.

      June 16, 2011 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bling x 17

    Kobe = 5 / Lebron = 0

    Still think Lebron compares with M.J.? He doesn't even compare with Kobe. He disappears in the last 5 minutes. LMAO!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Kobe got more help in one season than everything the cavs did for the entire 7 years LeBron was stuck in hell

      June 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      LeChoke can't even compare with another ringless superstar... Karl Malone and he didn't have to turn his back on a team that gave him so much... LeChoke is on the same level as every other player in the NBA that does NOT have a ring! Hey at least he puts up good numbers when it doesn't count...

      June 13, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Sumofmynieses

    bottm line is, every singledwho has everplayed in professional sports has lost some games. Hats off tow the ne NBA chalmpion The Dalas Mavlericks. Dallas played a well rounded game against everyone they played.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. U-Turn

    Hey Miami! How's it feel to have had to hand the hardware you self proclaimed was yours at the start of the season to its rightful owners last night?

    June 13, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Warren S.

    Sure, the folks in Cleveland can laugh "at" James, but, the Heat DID come in second this year. There was NO possibility he would get that close in Cleveland. It's happen to be the mentality of a loser...they don't hope to win, they just hope someone will lose. The Heat will be back next year and the only thing Cleveland fans can do is try and find something to laugh about. But, you know what they say...He who laughs last...

    June 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      people in cleveland are just bitter that he knocked out some of their teeth when he ripped his balls out of their mouth...

      June 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Hahahaha... Still laughing! Have fun with your runner-up trophy! LeChoke would be a good ball boy for Dirk!

      June 13, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Kim Lyon

    Enough about LeBron – give Dallas the credit they deserve!! They played outstanding basketball.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Sumofmynieses

    And if Lebron had announced that he was staying in "go nowhere Clevland" you haters would be all over his jock strap still

    June 13, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Owlman

    For what it's worth, LeBron grew up in Akron which is not Cleveland. Zounds, it even has a different name! LeBron does not consider himself a native Clevelander. In fact, in his book about playing ball in Akron, he describes Cleveland as a somewhat mysterious place he seldom visited before being drafted by the Cavs. I know the LeBron hate is mostly about the "decision" but lay off the hometown crap. And didn't the "decision" get loads of cash for a poor community center? I think all the reverse fans gloating over the Heat losing need to have a few good drinks and calm down.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Kells

      you realize that Akron is about 30 minutes from Cleveland?

      June 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      A seldom place 30 minutes away... wow! He ever leave his house?... Fact is he is a great talent but he will never develop into the premiere player people think he is... at best, he may crack the top 20 greatest players of all time.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Owlman

      Akron is more than 30 minutes from Cleveland. Good luck getting to the Gateway complex from Akron in 30 minutes. Akron is 30 miles from Cleveland...but it takes way more than 30 minutes.

      But the two cities are very different. A poor kids growing up in the projects of Akron would have no reason to have loyalty to Cleveland. Maybe if the Cavs still played in Richford you could make a case but they don't. Plus if Lebron never went to Cleveland as a kid it isn't all that surprising. Why not believe him?

      June 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. amanda

    Although I am not a Mavs fan, I have to say that I am glad to see Dirk get a ring. As far as LeBron, I won't deny that he is talented, and I don't hate on him for leaving Cleveland. I hate on him because he's an arrogant cry-baby. I think he needed this loss to take him down a peg. Maybe this will give him the maturity he needs to be a true champion.

    June 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
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