There are many ways that pro athletes are not like most of us. They can run faster, jump higher, and are just generally much more coordinated. There’s one way that they actually are just like us, though: They grew up rooting for their hometown sports teams.
Being a fan of your local teams comes naturally to almost everybody, and pro athletes often grew up dreaming of playing for their favorite squads. The majority of the time, however, it never comes to fruition. After all, such a homecoming requires a perfect storm of circumstances: The player has to fit his hometown team’s needs, the hometown team needs to be able to compensate that player enough, and the player has to genuinely want to play there.
Perhaps this is why homecomings don’t really happen all that often. Free agency has certainly made it easier for players to return to their hometowns to play (think LeBron James just this past summer), but there are plenty of guys who shy away from the pressure that comes with playing in front of the people who watched you grow up. Players come home to win championships, after all, and the expectations are always sky high.
It’s easy for someone playing at home to struggle. Who wouldn’t with all that pressure? Many athletes have tried and failed playing in front of their home crowd, and it’s certainly not for lack of trying.
There are a select few, however, who have excelled in front of their home fans. They’ve won individual awards and pushed their teams to championship-level play. It’s rare, but it does happen.
Here are some famous examples of Pro Athletes That Dominated In Their Hometowns.
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