You know that old saying, "home is where the heart is"? Well sometimes, that just couldn't be more true.
The days of one team tenures in the NBA are over, and players are bouncing around the league more than a rubber ball on a concrete floor. Mostly, these moves are good for everyone involved as they provide a new opportunity for both the payers and the teams to start something fresh.
Problem is, it doesn't exactly go like that everytime. Sometimes, a player moves and finds himself a lot worse off than where he was before. Sometimes, the team that takes the first chance on you is just the place that gives you the best chance to be the greatest version of yourself. For a myriad of different (and sometimes not so different) reasons, these 5 NBA stars should consider going back to their original team, the place where it all started... the place where they became a real star.
Currently, the Magic are a mess, they're not filled with a lot of hope for the future, and they're not very good now. But here's the reason why Dwight might be better off going there anyway: where else?
For a guy like Howard, who's reputation and game-impact have dwindled, the market for him isn't exactly stacked. The only teams interested enough to pay him decent money would likely be mediocre or lottery teams in need of a serious spark. And while the Magic are a lousy choice for most other stars, Howard thrived there. Maybe it was the city, maybe it was his youth, maybe it was the coach... but something about that place just brought out the best in him, maybe going there again will have the same effect.
(New York Knicks)
Before Carmelo Anthony left the Knickerbockers, he held on for about as long as he could. Repeatedly, amidst the Phil Jackson drama and a ton of losses for the team, Anthony stated that he was intent on staying in New York for as long as he could. His no-trade-clause was evident of that, and he didn't leave without putting up a fight.
All that to say this: Melo never really wanted to leave New York in the first place. He wanted to be there when he was in Denver, and played, arguably, the best years of his career for the team. Even though the Knicks are a disaster, it's a disaster that set in one of the most lucrative places in the world.
Now, with Jackson gone and Kristaps growing up, there are certainly worse places he could go.
Let's be brutally honest here: nobody really wants Derrick Rose anymore. His best days are behind him, he still can't shoot, and the injuries are continuing to mount for the former MVP point guard.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, their rebuilding entirely while boasting a number of young and talented players. No doubt, Rose couldn't go there and win right away. He probably wouldn't even start, either. But it is a place he knows, a place he loves, and isn't a terrible choice for a player with little options remaining.
Who knows, maybe playing for the team he made so many memories with will help re-spark his dying career.
While technically drafted by the Golden State Warriors, Carter was traded to the Raptors on a draft day deal. And for Toronto, that decision would prove to be game-changing. Obviously, though, he wouldn't end up staying and worse still, Carter did not depart from the Raptors on very good terms. After leaving, he was hated by the fans for years, who were unwilling to forget the nature of their decimated relationship.
And at the final chapter of his amazing career, what better way to go out than by re-joining the team that made such a big part of his story? By now, it seems the fans are starting to finally move on, as are the Raptors. By going back for a final year, he doesn't just have to do it for the narrative, either. He could provide a real purpose for the franchise, supporting and mentoring the younger guys while being presented an opportunity to win a Ring before he calls it quits.
Who wouldn't want that?
(Oklahoma City Thunder)
After being drafted by the Seattle SuperSonics in 2007 (who later became the Oklahoma City Thunder), we saw Kevin Durant morph into the superstar we know him to be today.
He had chances to win with the Thunder... but ultimately chose to depart for Golden State before he finished the job. It angered everyone, and he quickly became one of the league's most hated stars. But what if... and it's a big what-if, Durant decides to go back? Like LeBron, he could return to his city as a proven Champion and become the hero Oklahoma needs. His legacy would sky-rocket, and his popularity would soar to new heights.
No doubt, a story like that would be one of epic proportions... especially after everything that's transpired.