Henry Abbott posted a postulation on TrueHoop this last Friday about the emerging scientific consensus that the alpha dog mentality that has been so long attributed to packs of wolves has recently come into question through the conclusions of recent research studies.
Naturally, this got some people thinking about LeBron James and the Miami Heat (take from that what you will, but I’m thinking any NBA fan or basketball mind almost always has the Miami Heat on the brain now so I suppose it’s not that much of a shock). And of course, any time you bring up LeBron’s decision to “take his talents to South Beach,” a discussion inevitably centered around the alpha dog idea is not too far behind.
The question that was posed was pretty much if the fact that alpha dogs may not exist in a pack of wolves, like we have thought for so long, then does this recent development completely reshape how we should react to LeBron’s choice to join some other superstar’s basketball team instead of lead one of his own.
Now, before we even dive into this, I’m going to need you to certainly toss aside the fallacious logic that if the alpha male phenomenon might does not exist in wild wolfpacks then it obviously means it can’t exist in human basketball teams (or any other non-wolf centered group dynamic), because well, that’s just coming to a faulty conclusion.
“If the alpha dog/male concept does not appear to exist in wild wolfpacks, and human basketball teams kind of resemble and operate as a wolfpack, then clearly the alpha dog/male concept can not occur on a human basketball team and has no bearing on leadership roles at all.” Keep Reading…