Greatest homecomings in sports history
LeBron James was taken by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. James led the Cavs to their first Finals appearance in 2007 and decided to leave the team in 2010 to "take his talents to South Beach" and play with the Miami Heat. After taking his time as a free agent, LeBron decided on July 11, 2014 to return to his hometown to play with the Cavaliers.
Three-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion pitcher Andy Pettitte had his MLB debut with the New York Yankees on April 29, 1995 and played with the team until 2003 when he left New York for Houston to play with the Astros. Pettitte stayed in Houston until 2006 and returned to the Yankees in 2007 and would remain in New York until he ended his baseball career in 2013.
11-time NBA All-Star Allen Iverson was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers as the first pick in the 1996 NBA Draft and played in the City of Brotherly Love for ten years until he went to the Denver Nuggets in 2006. Iverson would play for the Nuggets, Pistons and Grizzlies before returning to Philadelphia in 2009 to finish off his NBA career.
14-time MLB All-Star and five-time World Series Champion Reggie Jackson had his MLB debut with the Kansas City Athletics (would become Oakland Athletcs) in June of 1967. Jackson bounced around the League to play for the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and California Angels before returning to play for the Athletics in 1987 where he would finish his career.
Ken Griffey, Jr.
13-time MLB All-Star and 10-time Gold Glove Award winner Ken Griffey, Jr. played 22 years of Major League Baseball for three teams. He spent the majority of his career with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds and played a short stint with the Chicago White Sox. Griffey, Jr. debuted with the Seattle Mariners in 1989 and finished his career as a member of the Mariners in 2010.
Ten-time MLB All-Star pitcher Tom Glavine debuted with Atlanta in 1987 and played for the Braves until 2002. In 2003, Glavine left Atlanta to play for the team's rival New York Mets. Glavine stayed in New York until 2007 and ultimately ended his career back in Atlanta with the Braves in 2008.
Six-time NBA champion and six-time NBA Finals MVP Michael Jordan was selected by Chicago in 1984 and played with the Bulls incontinuously until 1998 (taking two years off to play Major League Baseball). Jordan ended his tremendous career playing for the Washington Wizards from 2001-2003, but has since returned to his home state of North Carolina to be manager of the Charlotte Hornets.
13-time Pro Bowl selection, Super Bowl (XLI) champion and MVP Peyton Manning was chosen by the Indianapolis Colts with the first pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Manning would play for the Colts until 2011 and joined the Denver Broncos in 2012. On October 20, 2013, Manning received an unbelievably heart-warming welcome by Colts fans when he was visiting as a member of the opposing Broncos. Manning was nearly moved to tears as a result of his reception in Indy.
Eight-time MLB All-Star and 1995 World Series champion Greg Maddux began his career in Chicago in 1986 and played for the Cubs until he left for the Atlanta Braves in 1992. Maddux would play for the Braves until 2003 and chose to return to Chicago in 2004 where he would stay until 2006. Maddux finished his career in 2008 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.