Be Like Bron: Other Athletes Who Finally Came Home
Thanks to the nonstop news coverage, all of us are well aware that superstar LeBron James made his Decision 2.0 a few weeks ago that announced he was coming home to Akron, Ohio, to play for his Cleveland Cavaliers.
As a native Northeastern Ohioan, I wasn't only stoked, I was literally overwhelmed at how 'Bron wrote his thoughts in a letter penned for Sports Illustrated.
And while James told everyone he was coming home in dramatic fashion, here are a few other athletes who either went back to their hometowns or returned to their original teams.
Greg Maddux (Chicago Cubs)
Known for his success with the Atlanta Braves where he won a World Series and four-straight NL Cy Young Awards, Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux actually spent nearly as many career years (10) with the Chicago Cubs as he did with the Braves.
And after achieving so much in Atlanta, Maddux returned back to the Cubbies in 2004, pitching two and a half more seasons with them before being traded to the L.A. Dodgers in 2006.
With 355 career wins, Maddux was one of his generation's best.
Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks)
Jason Kidd's first tenure with the Dallas Mavericks probably didn't go as smoothly as he would have liked it to after being drafted second overall and sharing the league's Rookie of the Year Award, but he more than made up for it years later.
That's because after playing for a few different teams following his first two-and-a-half seasons with the Mavs, Kidd returned to Big D to help guide the team to their first NBA title back in 2011.
Rickey Henderson (Oakland Athletics)
MLB's all-time leader in stolen bases, Hall of Fame outfielder Rickey Henderson seemingly accomplished all one could during his 25-year major league career.
And seeing how the guy not only grew up in Oakland but also won an AL MVP and World Series title with his hometown Athletics, I'm sure it means a lot to him.
Even more, Henderson just couldn't get the Bay Area out of his system, as he enjoyed four different stints with the A's, spending a total of 14 years with the team.
Chris Chelios (Chicago Blackhawks)
Anytime an athlete gets traded, it usually isn't a moment they celebrate—unless it's done secretly because they're going from a bad team to a title-contending one.
For NHL Hall of Fame defenseman Chris Chelios, though, he was probably a little excited to be shipped from his original team—the Montreal Canadiens—to the Chicago Blackhawks in 1990 seeing how Chelios grew up in the Windy City.
All he did while with the Blackhawks was win two Norris Trophies as the league's top defenseman and play with one of the better franchises of the '90s—although the Hawks never were able to lift the Stanley Cup with him there.
Shannon Sharpe (Denver Broncos)
There can be a case made for Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe as the best player at his position to ever play.
Holding numerous receiving records when he retired in 2004, Sharpe may have been known as a legendary trash-talker, but the dude could back it up.
After helping the Denver Broncos win two Super Bowl titles in his first 10 seasons in the league, Shannon left to play with the Baltimore Ravens, where he continued to play at a Pro Bowl level.
Before calling it quits, he returned to the Mile High City prior to 2002 to finish his career with two more seasons of at least 60 catches in each year.
Rocky Colavito (Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees)
Although the trade of former MLB All-Star Rocky Colavito occurred over 50 years ago, as a Clevelander, I understand how the trade still hits Indians fans.
And while some fellow Tribe fans still consider it a curse when the team sent the former outfielder to the rival Detroit Tigers, some may forget that Colavito actually did return to Cleveland in 1965 to play two and a half more seasons with the team.
He eventually finished his career with the New York Yankees, which was also a bit of a homecoming for him, as he was born and raised in the Bronx.
Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers)
If you're a child of the late '90s and early 2000s, former guard Allen Iverson was probably your dude.
One of the greatest scorers in NBA history—especially when considering his size and weight—A.I. could score at will.
And while we all remember him as the MVP-winning scoring champ with the Philadelphia 76ers from his first 10.5 years in the league, he actually had a few other stops in between the beginning and end of his career, signing a deal to finish with the Sixers in 2010.
Jason Taylor (Miami Dolphins)
Former NFL defensive end Jason Taylor showed over his 15 seasons that he was one of the most dominating players of his generation.
Registering 139.5 career sacks, Taylor had a knack for getting to the quarterback and creating havoc for opposing linemen.
And while he made a name for himself with the Miami Dolphins for the first 11 years of his career, picking up 131 of those sacks, Taylor actually returned to South Beach not once, but twice, before ending his career for good in 2011.
Pete Rose (Cincinnati Reds)
We all may associate Pete Rose as the all-time hits leader in major league baseball, but did you know that the former Cincinnati Red was actually from the Queen City, too?
Not only did Rose collect 3,358 hits during his 19 years with the Reds—which included two different stints—but he also hailed from Cincy and graduated from a local high school there.
Now, if only MLB reinstated him and allowed him in the Hall of Fame.
Tom Glavine (Atlanta Braves)
Much like his aforementioned former teammate Greg Maddux, Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine returned to the place where he originally made a name for himself—Atlanta.
After taking the mound for the Atlanta Braves for the first 16 years of his career, where he won two Cy Young Awards, made eight All-Star teams and won a World Series title, the lefty left the team in 2003 to join the New York Mets.
Collecting his 300th career win while still with the Mets, Glavine hoped for one last season, pitching 13 games in 2008 with the Braves before officially hanging it up for good in 2010.
Scottie Pippen (Chicago Bulls)
A Hall of Famer and one of the best sidekicks to any superstar, former NBA forward Scottie Pippen was one of the many reasons why the Chicago Bulls have six NBA titles to their credit.
Originally traded to the Bulls following a draft-day trade in 1987, Pippen made a name for himself by playing 11 seasons in the Windy City before leaving once the franchise went in a different direction in 1998.
Pip had some solid years with the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers before returning to the Bulls in 2003—which was a less-than-stellar idea seeing how it lasted just 23 games.
Ken Griffey Jr. (Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners)
Arguably the greatest player of his generation, former major leaguer Ken Griffey Jr. actually lands on this list for returning home twice.
Accomplishing some incredible feats during his years with the Seattle Mariners from 1989-99, Griffey was traded by the M's to the Cincinnati Reds, in the city where he grew up after his dad Ken Griffey Sr. played for the Reds.
Sustaining unfortunate injuries, Junior's stats in Cincy weren't what many expected and, after bouncing around to other teams, he landed back in Seattle for his final season in 2010 before calling it quits.