It's interesting to look at Cleveland's reaction to
Lebron leaving in terms of evolutionary biology.
15, 000 years ago if a particularly strong member
of a community left the group, the survival of the
group depended on the remaining members
immediately cutting personal ties and identifying
the leaver as a traitor.
The leader of a group who lets a valued member
of his group get away suddenly is vulnerable.
Will the group repudiate his leadership given
his failure to hold onto their best warrior?
It is in this light that Daniel Gilbert's outburst
should be viewed. It would be easy to see him
as having failed Cleveland. Lebron left because
he was not confident he could win in a
championship in Cleveland with Gilbert leading
To distract the fans from this unpleasant fact,
the owner who could have shown confidence
and poise by being gracious, instead uses
insecurity as a weapon and plays on his
fan's most primal in-group/out-group instinct
to cement his own status - but to the detriment
of the team as a whole.
The lost opportunity for Cleveland is not primarily
the games Lebron may have won for them, but
the chance to prove that they felt bigger than Lebron
by not caring so much that he went away.