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. Big 3

    Take advantage, America...this is the worst team the Heat will have after this. Such haters – Cleaveland needs to get over it...and Dallas played a great game against Miami....The blame should not be put on James alone!!! Laugh now, make fun of him now....because he who laughs last, laughs best!!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Matt

    Cleveland is the last city to be insulting anyone. When was the last time a team from Cleveland was good? Oh yeah, when Lebron played for their basketball team. The Indians and Reds have sucked since forever.

    June 13, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jacki

    OMG, was Cleveland in the playoffs? NO. That makes me laugh..hahahahahaha

    June 13, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dave

    Im glad the Mavericks won but damn Cleveland, its not like you owned Lebron just because he's from there.

    June 13, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      With one of the shortest statements, Dave, you have just said one of the most intelligent things on this post. Last I checked, (1)it's just basketball, and (2)he was a FREE AGENT.

      I agree with you 100%. Cleveland, please get over it.. you've been harboring this for an entire year... it's more than sad.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. The Mediator

    It seems as though the major Cleveland population suffers from Post-Traumatic Embitterment Disorder. This occurs when one party is having a difficult time coming to terms with a break-up. The fact of the matter is that these obsessive fans need to get a grip and move on. Just face it: Cleveland sports are horrible, terrible. The Browns SUCK, the Cavaliers SUCK, and the Indians just remembered they SUCK. Get new ownership, good GM's and shut up. If I played for ANY of these miserable organizations, I would not even hesitate to take my talents elsewhere as well.

    June 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Randy

    Many professional athletes have learned to behave with honor and integrity. James and Wade still have some growing up to do. I'm tired of the antics. I'm trying to raise sons to grow into honorable men, and I get to watch professionals make fun of someone's sickness, or professionals swagger about how great they are. They get paid a great deal of money and they get unlimited support to be their best as athletes. Now they need to hire someone to teach them how to behave like men, with some humility and respect. Then they'll have a chance to be great. But not until.

    June 13, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. djrkw

    Cleveland should be the LAST team to criticize anyone. all of Cleveland's professional sports teams are garbage.

    June 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chemist

      Pretty sure that Cleveland is atop the AL central.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • keef

      i learned when I was 4 that this is what we call a 'sore loser'. you must be a bitter Lebron fairweather fan.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MIke P

    I'm a Knicks fan. Cleveland has every right to gripe and celebrate. If LeBron was born in Brooklyn and did this to the Knicks...Please beleive me, the posts you are reading would BY FAR be worse than what they are now. Way to go Dallas.

    June 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. jeff

    lighten up everyone. it's a freakin' game. That being said, watch game six of the Bruins/Canucks series. HOCKEY is where it's at. NBA basketball is BORING!

    June 13, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dennis

    Am I the only one who thinks Cleveland's reaction to Lebron's failure is a confirmation of how great he is?

    June 13, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • I want da gold!

      Yes.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      yes

      June 13, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Nope. How well Lebron actually plays, not the reaction of some fans, is the determining factor as to how great he is. By that measure, he is anything but great at this point.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      I wouldn't say it is the sole indicator of greatness... but the fact that cleveland is still crying about this to the point that they feel like they won is an indicator of Lebron's impact on many levels. Like him, or hate him, he did a major favor for the NBA.
      All that aside, he's still accomplished more this year than he did in 7 in "Grieve-land"... First year, trip to the finals? You'd be foolish to think that they won't win one. Soon.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • keef

      yes....in fact, your comment doesn't even make any sense.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kobe

    LeBrick James

    June 13, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. msbonniemichelle

    Loser, Lebron is not. 1st off because he and his team made it all the way to 6 game of the NBA finals. My favorite team the lakers couldn't do that this season. 2nd of all Lebron knew he would NEVER get a ring in Cleveland. For all you haters! If there was any place in the world Lebron could have gotten a ring, it would have been in cleveland. Don't be mad because the man was on a sinking ship and saved himself before it went down.

    June 13, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      he gave up on Cleveland and tryed to take the easy road and have wade carry his sorry azz he is and always will be a ignorant uneducated p-o-s

      no I'm not a cavs fan either

      June 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Well.. of course LA didn't make it that far. LA had to face Dallas before Miami did, so they went down earlier. Simple as that. If Miami had faced Dallas in round one (which is obviously an impossiblity), they wouldn't have gotten past that round.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryguy

      Cleaveland had the best record in the NBA for 2 seasons in a row, they just couldn't finish in the playoffs. Now they have a team lacking in bench production, the point guard position, as well as the center position. Without those key pieces, no team would win it all. The reason they got this far is becasue they have 3 of the top 10 players in the league on one team, but they still lost to a better TEAM. LeBron left Cleaveland to win a ring? They had the best record 2 seasons in Cleaveland, a better ALL-AROUND TEAM, more money, and a loyal fan base. He traded that for nice weather, pretty girls, and attention (he is incredibly narcissistic). No one would be this mad if they didnt get on stage saying that they were going to win not 6, not 7, but over 8 championships and then turn around and cry whenever they got negatively criticized.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • greek

      Give me a break, LeBron & Co. ruined it all, all three of the self-proclaimed superstars when united.....remember their press conference, guaranteeing a championship, better yet DYNASTY?? They haven't even learned to temper their humility! Wade, Bosch....and James got what they deserved. The Mav's outplayed them at their own home court. No one's hating on James.... his arrogance brought it on. Remember his press conference when announcing his decision.... BOO– YAH what goes around comes around. Now take your medicine -humble pie. Can't ya just admit it!????? Now thats class... Dirk ..... read em and weep.

      June 13, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • keef

      just because you're from LA and your dynasty is failing doesn't mean you can hate on someone else's underdog victory. THe point is Lebron sold out. DId you even read the story? Nowitski could have done the same thing when he lost faith in Dallas but stuck it out and look where he's at now....

      June 13, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  13. The Nation

    Arth ur making me laugh so hard i almost spilled my drink.... Some people on blogs just don't understand some people just like to start contraversy for fun.... I laughed though – so you got one! As far as LaFraud – well – let's see how he does next year when the pressure is lowered. Right now i would bet on a rematch since Butler will be back for the Mavs and the Heat are going to be ready next year.

    June 13, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • guest

      there will be more pressure next year j.azz

      June 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Robbin

    All my Ohio fans need to let it go,you have your own team to talk about. I don't think your still not has good as th heat. So let it go when you get good enough to compete then talk smack. Lebron got paid remember it's not whether you win our loose it's how u play the game. Plus you guys sat there and watched. Lebron will continue to entertain u.

    June 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      It -is- how you play the game... and Lebron played horribly in the finals when it mattered most.

      June 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Tom

    .......Lebron James, "The Frozen One". ! ! !

    June 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
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