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. Debrap424

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

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

      Ever heard of a "play on words"? Guess not.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Shoedog

    Basketball Gods – 1
    Lefraud James – 0

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

    If LeBron had studied history a little more he would be familiar with another "King" James, James Francis Edward Stuart – the Old Pretender. Now that sounds a little more realistic.

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

      Thanks for that relevant observation, nerd.

      June 13, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bigge

    Last place team laughing, must have been looking at there roster for next year....lol
    It will take Cleveland years just to crack .500 again....

    June 13, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • ozcanj

      I fail to see what Clevelands losing record has to do with them laughing at Lebrons Choke. He stabbed them in the back they have all the reason to take pleasure from his failure. The only loser in this situation is Lebron.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. Paul N Destin

    The race police will be out in full force after breakfast. Lebron deserves all the bashing he is getting. Punk is Lebron.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  6. The Man

    Le Bron's all that. As in All the S@#t!!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. DonDillinger

    I seen it from the beginning.. Miami had a mediocre season with many losses.. LeBron won't win a championship until he does THREE THINGS.

    1. GROW UP
    2. LEARN THE GAME
    3. PLAY AS A TEAM

    Without this he will never win.. I mean he did try to take a shortcut and win easily, but it's not going to happen.. I'm soon waiting for that team to fall apart.. The Miami Heat simply played "PLAYGROUND BASKETBALL" the entire playoffs.. I didn't see Lebron set one pick, not set one screene.. He didn't move without the ball.. . His defense is flat footed..

    With that said stop comparing him to Michael Jordan.. He is no better than a second string player on any given team.. If he would has stayed with the Cavs and developed more it could of worked better.. Now he is becoming a joke and the upcoming year will be no better.. There is no leadership on that team.. Simply put Lebron is a mediocre player give status by the media.. and its his fault because he embraces it the the "king james" talk, etc.. I never heard a player say how many championships they are going to win and then loose.. it's funny and it will be even funnier next year.. Nodody is going to give him the championship.. Not going to happen.. He won't win the Heat won't win and I don't dislike him, I just know they won't win.. (It's Lebron)

    June 13, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. Charlie

    I am from Green Bay and am old enough to have seen Brett Favre's entire career....much of it in person. I can identify with Cavaliers fans today. I rejoiced and relish in the moment Favre lost the NFC Championship game as a Viking.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bill

    Kinda sad that Cleveland's only shot at relevance comes from coattailing the Dallas achievement. Dan Gilbert's tweets show he has no product to sell other than Lebron leaving.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. kevin

    And the Cavs finished in what place? Easy to hate when your team is nowhere near a championship. If its LJ's arrogance that bothers them, they better be careful rubbing his face in it lest their faces get rubbed soon enough

    June 13, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. pavemobile

    Cleveland's comments are further proof that CLASS departed that city long ago. Why set a guy on fire because he wants something better than Cleveland could or would deliver?

    June 13, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. BOB

    HE'S NO MJ, NEVER WILL BE.

    June 13, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. open400

    These guys were playing for championships, isn't that want sports is all about? I did not like the way LeBron, Wade and Bosh were talking about a dynasty even before their first practice, but if you are paying these guys all this money you are paying them, what would you want them to say: " We just wan to make big bucks. We are here in Miami to party at South Beach every night." I am sure the Heat front office was doing some promotional work to get season ticket holders energized. The whole thing of demonizing the Heat was way over the top.

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

      False dichotomy–what I would hope that they would say is something along the lines of: "We're gonna work real hard, keep our heads down, and try to meld as a team with ALL of our teammates. Then, god willing, we might win some games and make our city proud of us and the way we represent you all." LeBron and the entire Heat organization should be ashamed of the way they acted, as if they had the ring before the season ever began. Remember what happened to the 'Canes when they counted their chickens before they hatched in 2002? What is it with Miami, thinking it's OK to act like champions before winning a championship?

      June 13, 2011 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  14. weasel

    Another media star created that has accomplished NOTHING.

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

      he has obviously accomplished becoming the center of your universe....

      June 13, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. 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 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Comon Sense

      99%? You are dumb.

      June 13, 2011 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
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