For Cavaliers fans, the first stage will be denial. As NBA free agency begins and suitors from Chicago, Miami and New York officially come calling on LeBron James with offers of very-told riches and rosters that don't include Mo Williams, Delonte West or the ghost of Shaquille O'Neal, fans in Cleveland will convince themselves there is a plan to keep the city's greatest treasure. SportsNation blogger unklerob lays it out.
But should the day come that LeBron parts company with his not-quite-hometown, anger will surely be ushered in as the second stage of grief -- anger at both star and team.
As for bargaining, depression and acceptance, well, Cleveland fans have some experience with these things. Just ask Art Modell, John Elway, Earnest Byner and Michael Jordan.
What about the rest of SportsNation? If the day LeBron signs elsewhere shapes up as the worst day in Cleveland sports history, what's the worst day in your city's sports history?