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. Rich

    Hey Arth,
    This has nothing to do with where LeBron chose to work, it has to do with how he handled the entire situation. "King James" is a childish and selfish "king." Had he taken his talents to the collegiate level first, he might have matured enough to handle life in the NBA.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arth

      It has to do with work first before how he poorly exited. Admittedly that could have been handled better. Guess what we all make mistakes...... Then again we should respect everybody's right to choose

      June 13, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LJ

    Say what you will, but when your livelihood is contingent on the opinions/regard of others, I'd think you'd keep your mouth shut.... I don't think anyone is upset by what he did – a man's gotta eat... it's the tacky, crass way in which he did it. Fans feel invested in players because they do invest in players.... they spend their hard earned dollars on these men with no expectation of anything in return – respect is the VERY least a player can offer to people that have spent millions of dollars on him. We keep wanting to talk about how fans' lives won't change – let's talk about it.... People spend money to better the life of this man, and what does he do in return? A slap in the face on MTV.... Arrogant remarks EVERY chance he gets that degrade the people that poured their earnings into him. If fans are allowed to praise one player for their actions then they are certainly allowed to disapprove of anothers for theirs. And further, LeBron is not an island of one – he was not self-made, he is not self-sufficient.... his home team and his home court fans helped to bolster his talent, and he'd do well to acknowledge it.

    I'm not from Cleveland. I've never been a LeBron fan.... I'm just saying he has a long way to go before he can be considered greatness. King, my booty. More like jester trying to play a prince. Give the crown to Dirk.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Benny

    The media needs to stop stoking the embers of hatred against Lebron and the Heat. The way the young man has been portrayed in the media for exercising his right of free agancy is absurd. It's even more disturbing that the network that covered the controversial program announcing his move to Miami consistently joins the chorus of vilification. Lebron is a champion at heart and, like every other champion, will have to fight through defeat and disappointment on the path to victory - Dirk is a shining example of one such person. The media shouldn't give justification to people who are seeking to validate their hatred for an athlete whose rise to stardom defies the stereotype imposed on people of his ilk. We all seem to set standards and expectations for people that we are incapable of living up to. Maybe, like Lebron hinted in last night's post-game conference, we should focus on how we can improve our own personal lives to the level where we, too, can experience what it's like living under the spotlight.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Arth

      Well said.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hooch

      The missed point here is that the media, most especially ABC/ESPN are bigger chokers than Lebron. The media, as well as multiple advertisers, have been ramming LeBron down our collective throats as the king of hoop all season. No question. Unbeatable. No question. Other teams shouldn't even show up for games or risk complete embarrassment. No question. And now that the story has taken a different turn, it is highly amusing watching the sports media trying to backpedal. Perfect example was the commentary after Game 6 where, instead of giving Dallas the nod it deserved for winning this series in 6 great, close games, the lamers on ABC/ESPN instead speculated on how Miami would need spend the off season to prepare for next year. CHOKE! They were having a difficult time saying that Dallas won. CHOKE! More like Miami didn't win and Dallas didn't lose, so Dallas get the rings. CHOKE! Well, they can cling to their lame interpretation all they want while they watch the millions and millions of advertising dollars ABC/ESPN – and all other television networks for that matter – won't make because the hours of Lebron-related advertising they planned to saturate viewers with all summer is no longer relevant – advertisers no longer wanting the association with LeBron James. Maybe that will teach ABC/ESPN to treat NBA and all other sports they broadcast/comment upon as what they are – undecided contests that can go either way, despite what the color commentators regurgitate over and over and over and over. BTW ABC/ESPN, DALLAS WON! Miami didn't win, and YOU LOST!

      June 13, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Darren

    hahahahahaha

    June 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. SAJ

    Why is this numbnut even on the radar today? He proved himself impotent. Let it go.

    GO MAVS

    June 13, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Eric

    I bet there are a lot of smiling faces at the children's hospitals in cleveland. may his loss give them some hope on the future the likes of which lebron denied them by leaving

    June 13, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Greg Stett

    Enough about LeBron already!!!!!! The MAVERICKS won...beat Miami, not won because Miami was bad.....where are the stories about Dallas? Even the announcers during the game were all about Miami and even the commercials were about "The Big Three" signing, etc.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I am sick of that theme, too. But the game announcers I heard were constantly anointing Dirk as one of the greatest ever. What I saw - and, judging from his comments, what Dirk saw - was that this was one of the great team efforts ever.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Greg

    Get the ###### camera off LeBron and onto a class team, the Dallas Mavericks

    June 13, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mander1

    HA! Awesome!

    June 13, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Loly Diez

    CLEVELAND... Should stop crying their lost already...Of course everyone knew...They will say and put down LeBron James...AND THE POINT IS ... Hes a better player than all of your players together....lol

    June 13, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      But he can't win a championship so does it matter if he is better than the guys on the Cavs? He is as equal as any of them!

      June 13, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      ..and he has the same number of rings as they do, ZERO.

      June 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. FreedomDave

    Yeah, Lebron sucks... NOT. How many other teams went to the finals? Not Cleveland. All you Lebron haters can kiss dxxk!

    June 13, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      You are right. He had to work for an extra month and a half to get to the finals to come up empty! There is only 1 winner in sports and thats the champs! The Mavs! Congrats for giving hope to a team full of losers that can not get it done when it counts! Hey you got 2nd place! Keep your chin up!

      June 13, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      forget about equating LeBron as Robin to Dwayne Wade's Batman, in this series he was more like Alfred the Butler.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • HandfulOfPeter

      Your boy blew. He CHOKED!!!! Completely absent in these finals! That's not greatness.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • james Griffin

      No one hates LeBron. His mouth just wrote a check that came back "Insufficient Funds." Someone should have advised him about how to conduct himself in sticky situations. He should have consulted Dr. J, Kareem, Oscar Robertson, on HOW to say he was leaving Cleveland, not make a public spectacle of it, like he did. Then, they boasted about how many championships they were going to win. A little humble pie will do him some good! Magic ate a little. It took MJ a long time for him to win his first. They were two of the best ever!! Hopefully, he'll learn from this and get over it.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ctbeckyw

    Not a hater, just glad LeBron won't get a chance to admire his championship ring. His mistake was he dissed Cleveland (though it isn't a city I'd particularly want to live in) in such a grandiose, unnecessary way. Had he just released a statement that he was leaving and why rather than tie up an hour of ESPN/TV time I don't think as many people would be reveling in the fact Miami lost. I know I wouldn't as I'm a Celts fan. Congrats to Dirk and Dallas for overcoming and, on many accounts, taking the high road and letting the court action do the talking.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • AllenA

      So what? Get over it!

      June 13, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Stephen Hawking knows MORE than you

    Mankind will never give up until he finds intelligent life in Miami.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. AllenA

    No wonder the city of Cleveland has never won anything. People in Cleveland need to learn to adopt a degree of class. LeBron played seven years in Cleveland and took them to the Championship Finals. he didn't have the help he needed and they lost to a better team in San Antonio. The same is what happened in Miami. Miami had the big three and nothing else. Dallas had a team in every sense of the word. What Miami need is point guard and a center and they'll be fine.

    June 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tim

    LeChoke = Failure! Kid's don't be like him,

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