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."

Post by:
Filed under: Basketball • Cleveland • LeBron James • NBA • Ohio • Sports
soundoff (1,422 Responses)
  1. Mavaliers

    Yeah, lets just forget about him making it to the Finals w/ the Cavs and getting crushed by the Spurs. And the main reason people delight in his failure is how extremely arrogant he is. Anyone that calls themself "The King" or says they'll win not four, not five, not six...etc. championships deserves to have his ego crushed in a very public and humiliating fashion

    June 13, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. Justin

    What difference does it make if Cleveland laughs? Cleveland still sucks and had the worst record in the league!

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

      Minnesota Twolves had the worst record. Do ya homework before you post on blogs.

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

      Your comments show you have no idea what you're talking about. The Cavs did NOT have the worst NBA record this year. You might wanna look at the final NBA standing before embarrassing yourself.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joel

    Whats up with this Rob guy talking smack? He is either really Lebron James taking verbal swings at people or he is a complete TOOL.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  4. Shoedog

    Basketball Gods - 1
    LeFraud James - 0

    June 13, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    The sad thing is that I ever spent a nickel rooting for Lebron James. He is just a selfish, egotistical player who totally disrespected Cleveland fans that adored him.

    It was more important to hype his big "Decision" to South Beach. Notice he said South Beach first, not Miami. He had contempt for the Cleveland fans and now when they have contempt for him he is really mad.

    He is just one big juvenile in a man's body. He has never grown up and never will – a narcissist plain and simple.

    So yes, it is amusing to root against the clownish villain, just like in professional wretling when they have some huge clown with bleached-blond hair play the arrogant, narcissistic bad guy who thinks he is so great. All the fan's boo him.

    Except with Lebron, it is real. King James!!!! OMG.

    Hardly shaking anyone's hand after the game because he is about to cry. He didn't get his candy, it is not FAIR.

    Don't be so smug Miami Heat fans, because while he is smiling and dancing to salsa music right now, he could care less about you. He just wants your money. Because in his mind, he deserves it and you do not, you have pathetic lives watching him play. He will turn his back on you too and disrespect your City too, because it is all about him.

    So much for being a Global Icon. Maybe he can get a new swimsuit for South Beach if he sells some more caffeine strips for the mouth, though they did not help him much in the fourth quarter. But no matter how much money you make Lebron, it is nice to see that you cannot buy a ring.

    Congratulations to the good guys that won.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  6. paul

    ok, i think that Lebron JAMES as everybody has is part of guilt into this terrible blow last night against the mavs.
    I respect the anger that cleveland fans are still feeling.But the KING, because he is really the king of modern basket ball will bounce back very very soon.It wasn't just the time for Miami.But this team trust me, will come back much stronger the next time.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Will

    It's ironic that the greatest victory in recent Cleveland sports history is Dallas winning the NBA championship... but we'll take our joy where we can find it.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jackblob

    Some of you fail to realize that anything less than the championship is a failure for Miami and Lebron specifically. LBJ disappeared into the woodwork in these finals and that will stick to him for a long time. I dare say the majority of basketball fans are elated with Miami's loss. That goes for non-basketball fans as well.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. lavozderazon

    First, the Cavaliers did not have the league's worst record last year. The Timberwolves did. Next, they Cavs did reach the NBA Finals in 2007–unexpectedly–and were swept by the Spurs. Contractually free to leave, LeBron (and let's not forget ESPN) not only rubbed his departure into the thousands of supportive fans he earned during his years in Cleveland, but made sure that the franchise got virtually nothing in return when he left. Let's not forget that the Cavs had the best regular season record in 2009-2010 and had been in the playoffs for five years prior to that. They were close, though they undoubtedly needed to tool the team up in order to reach elite status. LeBron might win some rings in Miami, but that city will never,e ver appreciate winning a championship as Cleveland would have–and someday will.

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

      except its not happening for cleveland anytime soon...

      June 13, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  10. Chang

    One of the best Finals, Playoffs, NBA seasons in quite a while. Incredible basketball,...and I'm a Celtic fan. Glad for Jason Kidd, Dirk (aka the White Mamba), and the rest of the Vets on Dallas....

    and btw "Tweetin" is for the birds

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

      Agree. It was great series.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    You ever see Lebron constantly biting his nails during timeouts in close games? He doesn't have what it takes to come up big consistently. Stage fright.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. me

    James is a narcissist. He'll never be a champion.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  13. jessie

    IF YOU THINK FOR ONE SECOND THAT CLEVELAND WAS HAPPIER ABOUT DALLAS WINNING THAN DALLAS WAS. YOU LOST YOU MIND!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jojo

    It was hilarious and a vindication. Miami fans: you'll think it was a fluke and you'll give him the benefit of the doubt. But you can't un-see his disappearing act, and you'll see more of it the next few springs. The problem with LBJ is he has no accountability. Every time he lost in Cleveland it was the coach's fault, his teammates, whatever. But he's the one who signed 3-yr deals with an eye on colluding, not allowing the high-spending owner to attract long-term blue chip free agents since they could tell he would be gone. So we had Mo, Jamison, Shaq etc. who weren't chopped liver. But now who will James blame? Bosh, Chalmers, Spoelstra, and quietly, maybe Wade. But no, not himself! He played blamelessly the whole series, and hustled so much, and showed the heart of a champion! lol He almost started crying in the middle of the 4th quarter, just like last year vs. the Celtics.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  15. john

    The way he left was really bad. If he framed it different, people wouldn't be so hard on him. He exited like a premadonna.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      "prima donna"

      June 13, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Chachi

      "primo marijuana"

      June 13, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Balto Paul

      Pre-Madonna? Would that be like 1982?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44