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. josh

    Its great to see lebron not able to get it done in Miami...His personality Sucks and his game sucks

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

      Bad personality, maybe. You don't know him. But to say his game sucks? You just don't know much about sports in general. Go back to the kitchen, woman.

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

      His mom sucks, that much we know for sure.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. William

    The Dallas Mavericks won a championship in true champion style, but leave it to CNN to put a negative spin on this story. the true losers are CNN, not the Miami Heat.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • TheMovieFan

      What spin?

      This happened to be one of the few times I was happy a team from Texas won. Too many idiots from that state.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      False, the losers are the Miami Heat. I saw it on TV!

      June 13, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      The scoresheet begs to differ.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Balto Paul

      It's part of the story.

      I loved the "LeBron: The Choke's on YOU!" headline.

      Very few people, outside die-hard LeBron worshipers, wanted to see "King James" succeed after the way he left Cleveland. I don't even follow NBA basketball much, but I watched game 6 on the of chance I might get to see James get pwned.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      No, the fact of the matter is LeBron brought this on himself. If he hadn't had a primetime special to announce his leaving for the Heat and made a frenzy out of it, there wouldn't be so much attention on him to now.

      Maybe he is a good person in the real world, but on the court he's turned his image into a holier-than-though type, and we all know how people like to watch those ones stumble.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      What negative spin are you talking about? You're being overly sensitive about something, put your big boy pants on.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. bobby frank

    I THINK THE HEAT WAS A NICE MATCH FOR THE DALLAS MAVERICKS. ALL THE GAMES WERE VERY CLOSE AND VERY EXCITING. SO HAPPY FOR DIRK FULFILLING HIS DREAM AND SHOWING THAT NICE GUYS DO FINISH FIRST AFTER-ALL. THE PICTURE WITH DIRK AND TERRY TOGETHER AT THE END OF THE GAME IS PRICELESS!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  4. ron

    choke from cleaveland choke in dallas......

    and chocka cola.........on trying to unstead jordans legacy...........with this clowns........plane jane dunks........

    June 13, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. Comon Sense

    You are all idiots. LeBron has exactly what he wants: the entire world focused on him. The Mavericks won the NBA Finals, and what is the biggest story? How LeBron played, how Cleveland is reacting to LeBron's loss, what LeBron needs to do moving forward. He made "The Decision" because he loves this kind of attention, and all of you are feeding this egomaniacal machine. Sadly I am faced with the reality that once again, it is all about LeBron.

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

      You mentioned his name 5 times in that. Admit it, you want to tea bag him.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Balto Paul

      It's all about him being a major CHOKE HOUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      bwahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!

      June 13, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Bella

      @ Common Sense...That you think calling someone a woman (your comment about Lebron being a good player and asking someone to go back to the kitchen...woman) shows just how small minded, petty and pathetic you are – basketball expert or not. If you had half a brain you might perhaps refrain from making that so plainly obvious for the rest of the world to know.

      Oh, and one more thing...if you have a wife and/or daughters – triple shame on you caveman!

      June 13, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. Labron Jewon

    What can I say?? I'm an idiot!! I should have stayed on w/THE CHICAGO BULLS, BUT I was being greedy. I THOUGHT I'D WIN A RING ON MY FINGER. INSTEAD I GOT THE MIDDLE FINGER.

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

      Umm.... You played for the Cavs in Cleveland Lebron
      People think you play like Jordan; you are not Jordan though.

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

    Any player who says that the loss was not "in God's plan" does not do it for me. God is not involved in making out NBA game plans and outcomes.

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

      Sure he does. He just LOVES Mark Cuban.

      Either that, or he decided Cleveland's been s#!t on enough and was due a day of sunshine.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Bella

      Actually Kathy, He very much is! He cares that much about every aspect of our lives.
      If you knew Him at all, you'd understand that (no judgement or self righteousness intended).

      That's exactly why the Mavs won – they were, hands down the best team for the win. They worked hard, played hard, kept going and never stopped believing. God rewards effort, patience & commitment in due season. He definitely rewards exceptional effort!.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mel

    Tee Hee Hee...
    I'm not from Cleveland, I simply think major league sports have gone past the point of ridiculous.
    You are all creating and supporting ego driven monsters and when your grotesquely overpaid idols fail you, it's just plain funny!
    LeBron's not going to learn humility from this or become a better person or a even better player, why should he?
    As many of his supporters gleefully point out here, he already has more money than the vast majority of fans who overpaid to watch him choke in the final will make in their entire lives. Plus everyone already decided he was the next Jordan while he was still wet behind the ears; he will have people kiss his bum the rest of his life, just like the Tiger, even if he never makes another free thrown until the day he drops. I.e he got no reason to care about anyone except himself, so it's really unlikely he will.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  9. Al

    Cleveland needs to let it go. He took a better job in a different city. He didn't want to become another Kevin Garnett and spend his best years in a losing franchise.

    A better opportunity presented itself. He took the job. It would have been a miracle for a team that hasn't played together for one complete season to win the NBA finals. Whether or not Cleveland hates or likes Lebron, they'll still be a city void of any major sports championships. They were lucky he chose to play the years he did play in that city.

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

      Most people can understand WHY he left. It's HOW he left that left the bad taste.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Balto Paul

      MJ didn't have to run off and join a dream team. He was good enough to have a team built around him, and he's a legend because of it. LeChoke James couldn't carry MJ's jock. Even if the Heat eventually get him a ring, it will be because he had to run off and get Wade to win one for him.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Al

      True but people shouldn't be comparing Lebron to Jordan. Lebron would have never had that type of team around him. No one wants to play in Cleveland. He would have wasted his best years in Cleveland. Even KG told him before he left that he needed to think about what's in his best interest, not the best interest of everyone else.

      The Lebron and Jordan comparisons need to stop. And when they start, Lebron needs to put a stop to them, ASAP. He's far from Jordan. He still has lots of maturing to do in that respect.

      Yes, it was a boneheaded move to do "The Decision." However, had he stayed in Cleveland, "The Decision" wouldn't be getting so much negative attention. It's a double standard.

      June 13, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. pa10sion

    Love all these people who want to put LeBron down. You couldn't shine his shoes. He's accomplished more than any of you could ever dream of accomplishing. Go back to your grocery packing jobs and leave LeBron alone!!!

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

      I choked once, but it was during a round of mini-golf.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike

    ha, Rob's comments are the best. I agree completely with him. Cleveland is mocking LBJ.....because he made it to the finals!? Yes, makes complete sense. A last place team – 19 wins & 63(?) losses, making fun of a team that made it to the final championships. Cleveland should only realize one thing and one thing only when they see LBJ making it to the finals: they were nothing without him. In LBJ's eyes, why would he stay w/ a losing team, when he can go somewhere else, and clearly come close to winning a ring?

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

      Also – the fact on moving to South Beach Miami is reason enough to leave Cleveland. SoBe > Cleveland.

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

      Mike – you hit the nail on the head: He wants to come close to winning a ring.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. v matheu

    So sad for the Miami Heat one person or player dont insure and NBA championship.
    Look at LA.One lesson learn for the Heat Money dont buy champioships passion respect and hart win championships.
    DALLAS the perfect example.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Comon Sense

      Money most definitely buys championships. e.g., the Lakers, the Celtics, the Yankees, etc. the list goes on and on.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. ozcanj

    I'm not a basketball follower but after seeing the way way Lebron has acted with Cleveland and his side show I will admit I'm very happy to see Dallas won. He's the type of player I wouldn't want on my team. If it was one on one basketball sure but when its a team sport he would be nothing but trouble. Congrats to Dallas.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dan

    Let's just be upfront: 99% of Miami Heat fans are bandwagon fans.. Even these supposed fans weren't rooting for the Heat until a year ago. That's why it's completely acceptable to ridicule and tease them now!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  15. Debrap424

    Choke or joke? Get with it CNN. PROOFREAD!!!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • The Man

      Now the jokes on you – as i choke.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      You're not getting it.. They're doing a play on words – because he choked.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Balto Paul

      <--------- JOKE

      0 <-– Your head.
      \ | /
      |
      / \

      June 13, 2011 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Balto Paul

      Dang, ASCII Stick-Debrap fail like LeBron.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
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