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. walkerny

    Can't fault a man wanting to change teams, but the ego-fueled circus way in which James did it was an insult to his team & fans in Cleveland. He deserves the raspberries after his below mediocre performance. Perhaps this will keep some huge ego's in check for a while.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  2. Billy

    A 4-2 loss in the finals is farther than Cleveland god. Second place isn't exactly a disaster.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      Leave god out of this.LOL

      June 13, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Kurt

      Granted...second place is not a disaster, but there is no prize for second place. James carried the Cleveland curse with his talents to Miami.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joseph

    Anyone FROM Cleveland,shouldn't laugh at anyone.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  4. Rani

    I don't know why it never ceases to amaze me how much satisfaction some Americans get from someones disappointments! Lebron did not loose! He made it to the Finals. Since when did he accomplish that under Clevland? There is nothing wrong with wanting to better yourself and do what it takes to accomplish your goals. How many years did he give Clevland? Plenty. Too bad people are not really happy for the Mavs success, just for Miami's demise. But isn't that always the way it is with sports and politics in the good old USA. Get over it LeBron haters! It's a game!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Kirts

      In the 2007 season you dope.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • beelzabarber

      I was a fan of his until his contract negotiations. He lost. he was expected to win the championship. HE expected to win it. He kept his own city on tender hooks and then hung them out to dry. One of the biggest DOOOOOSH bags in pro sports ever.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • nmc913

      Uhhhh he accomplished going to the finals with Cleveland in 2007 against the Spurs. Guess your little rant is pretty stupid now.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. tv22

    So are Cleveland fans laughing that they have a far worse team than Miami that didn't make the playoffs, never mind the finals? Or that they had a first place baseball team that is falling apart? Guy joins a team, they make the finals. Not too bad. Not many teams win when they get their for the first time in a while. Look at Dallas and how long it took them to win. Go ahead Cleveland laugh. And please tell us the next time you have a team in any sport that's any good.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      besides, football is the only sport that really matters and ohio has the all time historically worst NFL teams in the Browns and Bengals....

      June 13, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  6. jon

    I agree that this is Karma laughing at James in the face. He showed his true colors as a highly overrated player when the team needed him.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Don Giammo

    Dallas provided a Happy Birthday for me! Thanks Texans (and Germans) for bringing down the arrogance.LeBron called himself the 'chosen one' and 'King James.' Reality check... he is 0-8 in his bid for the Ring. 'Chosen one' should be 'choking one' ... btw, LBJ is NOT the King... I think his name is Dirk. -dg

    June 13, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  8. cartmanrulz

    Cleveland laughing makes no sense.. You lost the most games out of any team this year. Congrats because you will continue to have a losing season just like your Browns... LOSERS

    June 13, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  9. Jud

    It's never been more clear, after the fourth quarters where James was not productive that he will NEVER be compared to the real king Micheal Jordan at least not by anyone with half a brain.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Stu

    I pulled for the Mavs. But I really don't see what is wrong with some guys taking a pay cut because they think they have faith in each other and want to try to win a championship together. I don't think that Cleveland owned LaBron. I don't hear any mess being talked about Bosh for taking his talents to South Beach. Sure, Jordan stayed put in Chicago when he made room to get some talent there with him under the salary cap. But somebody has to move if you want to get together with other talent.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  11. HaveYouEverEvenPlayedinANBAGAME

    First off...lets wake up from the fantasy that some how life is over for Lebron because he doensn't have a ring yet..KG was a explosive talent for years and he didn't get his ring til a couple of years ago. Dan Marino was an awesome QB and he NEVER got a ring..Cleveland fans need to move on and let the Lebron hate go, its as if that is all they have to look forward to. Maybe if the CAVS owner wasn't so slow to bring in some real help Lebron would have stayed. Also this is the Big 3's first year playing together and they almost pulled it off.....so chill out with the HEAT hate...here are the facts..Lebron signed a 90 million dollar Nike deal before he played his first game, so you can pretty much bet he has never cashed a NBA check, he lives in beautiful Miami in a luxurious Mansion...and lives the dream all of you critics wish you could..only a few get to lace up their Nike and play real NBA ball...so all in all I think Lebron is doing OK

    June 13, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Lydia

      There are literally hundreds of people on here who hate him who are not from Cleveland. Can you figure out why that is?

      June 13, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Same Old Cleveland

    Oh, and by the way (I forgot earlier), congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks. That was a great exhibition of team basketball, which is a joy to watch (and is why I enjoy watching college basketball more so than the NBA). I'm still trying to figure out what the Miami Heat's version of team basketball is – they look like a schoolyard team with very talented players trying to figure out how to work together way too much of the time.

    A great win for team basketball in the NBA!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. sugarmama

    The Heat played a great season, made it to the finals and won two of the series. That doesn't exactly make LeBron a massive failure, folks. After all his puffed-up blather, I'm glad he's going to have to endure this humbling loss and non-championship season, but chances are extremely high, he'll be back and loaded for bear next fall. Can we please move on from the LeBron hating? It's a distraction from the actual game and getting kinda boring.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      some losers have nothing else....they can laugh at someone that is clearly superior to them for some ridiculous reason based on a deluded perspective or be left to just wallow in their own misery....

      June 13, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  14. Laverne

    Every time Cleveland's coach opens his mouth it shows that Lebron made the right decision to leave Cleveland. How dare him think he own this man. Lebron was a dedicated and loyal player for Cleveland and made a decision to move on in a professional way. To root for someone's failure because you are not happy with their decision shows an inmature and selfish coach! Anybody looking to sign with Cleveland should think twice before getting tangled up with a person Dan Gilbert!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • BuckeyeFan

      People don't hate on him cause he left idiot, its how he left and his arrogence at having a victory celebration before the season even began. People would have still been disappointed that he left, but he did it in the most disrespectfule manner possible. He was immature and taking advice from immature friends. He needs to grow up

      June 13, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  15. Lori Smith

    At least Lebron and Miami didn't come in last place in the series like Cleveland did in the season. I can't blame Lebron for leaving Cleveland with the childish comments coming from the owner all the way down to the last place old team mates. It shows that as long as they could use him he was the best thing for Cleveland but soon as he made a decision like a few others did who didn't make it to the playoffs then he's the worse ever. Because Miami, Wade Lebron and Chris didn't get the rings this year they still did more than all of the other teams besides Dallas who clearly won and did a great job after so many other years trying to win a championship. Haters get a life and focus on your teams so next time you can be in the stands supporting and not watching someone else teams on TV.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Marcus Moore

      The important thing here is that LeBUST James deserves nothing more than laughter! The way he handled his departure from Cleveland was embarrasing for both HIM and for the MIAMI HEAT! And did you notice that as far as the Heat was concerned, there were only THREE players on the court?!? Maybe that's why the HEat lost! I'm not an NBA fan but I was rooting for Dallas all the way! LeBUST doesn't deserve Cleveland but Miami does. They deserve each other! Hey LeBUST–you LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE!!!!!!!! HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • TinKnight

      I agree...I loved how the writer pointed out all the Cavs fans were making their comments from a bar, instead of from courtside. I am not a Lebron fan by any means, nor the Heat or the Mavs for that matter...but, to make it to the Finals in your first year as teammates shows that the Lebron/Bosh/Wade trio did pretty well. And the Cavs did pretty much nothing of significance for them to be laughing at someone else's losses.

      Sorry, but that represents the city of Cleveland pretty poorly in general, and Cavs fans in particular, and actually makes me want to root for the Heat in any games against the Cavs.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Client09

      Cleveland wasted 7 years of LBJ's career. 7 years and they failed to get LBJ any support, what? they thought bringing in a washed up shaq would help.........1 year with heat they make championship game.......jokes on cleveland!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • MikeyD74

      Lori, what you dont seem to understand is the WAY that lechoke left cleveland is the reason the city is acting the way it is. The city and the team gave him everything, all they wanted in return is a championship (something the city hasnt had in forever). Instead they got a greedy choke artist who "wanted his rings now", quit on the team and the city, then went on NATIONAL TV and made a big deal out of leaving cleveland for miami... making a so-called "super team" so he can get his precious rings right now instead of being patient and having some loyalty.

      I am glad that he lost... im not glad for the city of miami (i do feel bad for the city losing)

      June 13, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • seriously?

      Yep. Victory is ours! as long as first loser is better than last loser. It's not that Lebron left Cleveland, it's how he left Cleveland that makes people applaud his failure. And make no mistake, he cost them this championship.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Please use caution when stepping off the MIami Heat Bandwagon! lol... amazing how many people all of a sudden became fans of the Heat this season.. Yet you would be hard pressed to find even more than a couple of Heat fans who could name their starters from more than a year ago... !!!

      June 13, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • C.Brown

      HAHAHA You Heat fans are the worse, your quiet during the game and you leave early so I don't want to hear all this fake support for your ready made team. Also please stop acting as if LBJ just left the Cavs cause it wasn't just that, he left his team on national tv like the punk he is and that is what sticks in people you know what and I'm not even close to being a Cavs fan.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      If your high school sweetheart dumped you in front of the whole school on the school's intercom, you don't think you might have a laugh and or comment when he couldn't get it up with the girl he dumped you for?

      June 13, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • mattnaustin

      Idiot...

      June 13, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
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