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. just bob

    How sad is it that there is so little positive about Ohio that they have to make themselves feel better by hating people who had enough sense to leave the miserable state.

    June 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paging Mr. Herman

      same thing I was thinking.

      June 13, 2011 at 6:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. keeth in cali

    BFD.

    June 13, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. The TRUTH

    We know who does all the hating on James now don't we...

    June 13, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Paging Mr. Herman

    Really!? Is Cleveland still upset about this? Does your city $uck that bad?

    June 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    This article is but one example of how bad our society has become. The focus on pop culture and hatred is absolutely ridiculous. Instead of focusing on a single athlete's decisions...how about the lame politicians making decisions that affect a lot more. Lebron James is a great athlete and while his departure may have hurt Cleveland, they need to focus on more important things. You can hate on him all you want, and laugh at him all you want...but if you need that to make you feel good...then there is something wrong. His departure wasn't exactly the best, but he is a lot better person than the majority of NBA players. I'd rather have someone with confidence like his than most of the thugs. While Cleveland might not be happy, he did probably do the right thing in leaving. He had no supporting cast in Cleveland and didn't see the interest in a championship there. It became criticism solely on him when they didn't win a few years back. He may have ended up like Karl Malone...an outstanding player who constantly gets known for not getting a ring. And that was on Jazz teams that actually had other good players.

    June 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Amb26

    Lebron is disliked because he committed a cardinal sin in sports. If you are a true fan and you dedicate time and money into your team because thats your team, win or lose. As a fan you put your heart and soul into your team and when someone you admired disappoints you, it is hard to forgive and even harder to forget. Lebron made empty promises to Ohio. He portayed himself as somebody he wasn't. It is not the fact he left Cleveland but how he left them. You don't cheat on your spouse and announce the divorce to everyone but them. Do you? As a fan you feel a personal relationship with your players. People dislike Lebron because he went against his fans, broke their hearts, and tried to stack the wins by joining forces. If D Rose did that to us Bulls fans we would be devastated. As fans we relate to their feelings and join forces against Lebron and the big 3.

    June 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Fish

    Cleveland fans can laugh at Lebron, but Lebron can also laugh at Cleveland fans... How did the Cav's playoff run go? Wait... Who did the Cavs play in the playoffs? Oh yeah... Who cares, it's baseball season!

    June 13, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chris

    And how many games did Cleveland win this year?

    June 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonesaw_McGraw

      How many championships did Miami win this year?

      June 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shaun

      hey lebron can kiss my fat*** he is a lier and is the least clutch player on Miami

      June 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Leigh Binder

    You guys that keep making the claim about where Lebron "works" is crap. It's not like he's a plumber, doctor or trash truck driver, he's a professional athlete. Pro's are connected to a community that sometimes lives and dies by their teams exploits, case in point, Cleveland or if you need something more old school, Boston and their Sox or Green Bay and it's Packers.

    In a time when there's not much to cheer about in our country, sometimes whether your team wins or loses and the guys that make that happen are paramount. Not to mention the millions they make to keep it all going. Perhaps there was more loyalty back in the day when an athlete only made thirty six grand a year and HAD to work in the off season as a bartender or a car salesman, but those days are gone, but not the love and support of a city and it's team...

    Lebron? Like the guy said, maybe this dose of humble pie will help him in the long run but for right now, Cleveland rocks and Lebron is it's best comedian since Drew Carey!

    June 13, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • rcmclc1

      You are talking about loyalty in Cleveland? Are you for real ????? There's no fan loyalty. Maybe LeBron took a page from Art Modell's playbook and decided to get the hell out. It worked for the Ravens..................

      June 13, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. bad luck truck

    i never knew mo williams took it personal. not to say i blame him. i always thought his ex-teammates would take it to the heart cause him leaving to me is saying that "i cant get it done with you guys." but still i rather mo williams would have stayed professional and not said anything. lebron is sleeping in the bed he made and the only reason mo williams is even saying that out loud is because now its the cool thing to hate lebron... shhh now if it was mike brown who had said that then i would be laughing my @%# off. LOL.

    June 13, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mack

    Even if he left in a more graceful manner, Cleveland would still be butt hurt over him leaving them. Apparently Cleveland doesn't like the idea of an athlete leaving to another team that might produce better results. City full of ungrateful whiners.

    June 13, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Waleed

      Let me guess, you must be from a city with a lot of success. It is almost like the rich guy wondering why the poor man is so upset after his TV was stolen. "It is just a TV, get another one." the rich man says, not realizing that for the poor man, it isn't quite that easy.

      June 13, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      @ Waleed

      So you're equating LeBron to a piece of property? That's nice buddy, hope your estate in Georgia is doing well.

      Athletes are free to go to other cities, and it happens all the time in other sports, the only reason it turned badly for LeBron was because of 'The Decision.' You didnt hear as much garbage about Carmelo even though his situation was ten times worse for the city! Let alone baseball, football and hockey free agents that change teams, even superstar players.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonesaw_McGraw

      Much like everyone else bashing Cleveland when Lebrick stories pop up, you obviously have NO IDEA about Cleveland fans. Everyone seems to think Cleveland hates Lechoke because he left, but that's only part of reason. Many athletes have come and go from Cleveland teams, sometimes they're hated, and sometimes when they return with their new team, they are given a standing ovation when they are announced. Lequit left making fools out of his hometown that begged him to stay after he said his main goal was to bring a championship to Cleveland. He never had any intention to stay and knew what he was going to do before the season ended. Had he been up front, without his ego stroking tv special, I can promise you, the bad blood would be nothing compared to what it is now. It's not always the reason, but sometimes the way you do something that causes a reaction. He went for the easy championship, and failed in the end yet again. So people blame his failures in Cleveland on a "lack of supporting cast", however this year in Miami he had 2 of the best players in the league standing with him and they STILL couldn't get it done. What's the excuse this time? Oh that's right, Lejerk claims that God decided it wasn't the right time. As George Carlin used to say, if God created the universe, do you really think he cares about who wins a game? Better luck next year! GO MAVS!!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Waleed

      I doubt that Carmelo leaving was worse for the city. Cleveland have regularly ranked extremely low when it comes to poverty and overall happiness. Second of all, I don't look at Lebron as property, but as a representative of a city. If you are a congressman from Ohio, I don't expect to see you wearing a New York hat. Lebron flaunted his disdain for Cleveland when he was here, but we forgave him. I expected him to act like a representative of our city when he was here and act with class when he leaves.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RedmanfromDallas

    I believe Cleveland won 58 games this year. A whole 1 game better than the Mav's 57.....However they just could'nt win the 4 that counted most in the end. Heheheh...GO MAVS NBA CHAMPS!

    June 13, 2011 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • neonracer

      @redmanfromdallas I think perhaps you're on crack. Cleveland won nowhere in the same galaxy as 58 games THIS YEAR. They won a whopping 19 games.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. blckpearlchef1

    I say everyone needs to grow up! Anyone out there that has not made a move in life for the bettrmnt of self is insane. Lebron did what he felt was best for him so deal with it. Even if they to not win the series so what! Quit hating on the man. He is not the only pro athlete u know that has made a move for the bttr silly people! Get over it. I lov the mans play and will follow wherever he goes!

    June 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dude

    Cleveland is still sour over Lebron leaving? They are the real losers, they lost Lebron and the chance of being a good team anytime soon. The Heat went all the way to the top on the first year it was put together. Good luck with all your crying over Lebron leaving Cleveland bs. Let it go Cleveland Lebron didn't want to play for that city no more, and who can blame him with the job offer he got in Miami. Your public embarrassment should be called Crygate, freaking crybabies boohoo. At least now every sports team in Cleveland are equal they all suck!!

    June 13, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Waleed

    Let me try to explain to non Cleveland folks why we were so angry. Imaging you come from an area that is hit the hardest by job losses and depression. Imagine if you didn't have a lot of natural attractions like beaches and perfect weather. Or, imagine if you didn't have all of the attention and popularity to attract tourists and visitors like a New York or Chicago. Imagine that, and then imagine if you finally get one super star in an area that have been completely starved of any attention. If Cleveland were a man, we were the poor man that finally could say to the rich man that "look, we got a new 50 inch screen TV too." As we celebrated Labron and was willing to treat him like a favorite son, he scorned us every chance he got. He laughed as he wore New York hats around town and openly rooted for other cities to trump our home town. We let him get away with that because we felt he might still pull us into the light by at least getting us one championship. We put him on one of our buildings downtown akin to the Rocky statue in Philadelphia to say "you represent the best of us," and yet he still flaunted his lack of support for us to our faces. Like abused wives, we forgave him and tried to look past those faults. Then he gave a lack luster appearance in the 2010 finals, and all the while he was plotting to leave Cleveland. He didn't even give an early warning to help us to get a better free agent choice, but he waited until we were left with crumbs. Finally, on national TV, he publicly dumped us as if we were scraps and then the next day, danced in a "we are the champions" style party as he flaunted his new city. He ran off with the rich boys "no different than the rich man getting another Mercedes", to a team and city that, let's face it, will not suffer if they never won another championship in any sporting event (trust me, people will still go to Miami – heck, I am typing this from there now as I visit).

    So, in summery, you really have to be from our area to really get it.

    June 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      Sounds like Cleveland is a real cesspool of garbage no wonder he left he he he!!

      June 13, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Waleed

      No, Cleveland is just a city that have gone through a shift in industry and that have hurt us. If the oil spill tarred Florida permanently, they would have been going through a change in industry as well. It would be unfair to try to trash them after that. When Floridians were crying on TV about losing businesses and customers, that only lasted for a few months. Imagine decades of industry decline and job losses. It would not be a pretty picture.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cleveland is the REAL LOSER!

      It's sad to see what this world has come to be – a place of hate and bitterness. There are more important things going on in this world instead of exercising energy to hate on an NBA player for HIS CHOICE to leave one team to go to another. Changing teams is nothing new to the NBA. Players change teams all the time.

      LeBron James is talented and he would not have made it as far as he did in the playoffs if he were not.

      If you have hatred in your heart for LeBron James, I suggest you grow the heck up because right now all of you are looking like idiots.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      It still sounds like it sucks there, your words. Who wouldn't want to live in Miami, get paid real good, and play with more talent gimme a break.

      June 13, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
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