For an NBA player, repping your hometown isn’t optional. Wherever you go, your hometown follows. An NBA player’s level of hometown pride could ultimately affect choices made in their career.
According to Basketball-Reference.com’s David Corby, eight percent of the NBA players to switch teams’ last summer returned to a team 100 miles within their birthplace whether through trade or free agency. Now that's not a ton, but it is notable since two most prominent free agent moves last summer were Dwyane Wade going home to Chicago and Dwight Howard signing with Atlanta.
Of course the most memorable transaction of all-time was LeBron James returning home to Cleveland in 2014. As cliche as it sounds, for most NBA players, home is where the heart is and if you’re lucky enough to have an NBA team close to where you reside from, it’s always an option down the road.
Fans take as much pride in their hometown NBA players as the players themselves even when the players aren’t actually from their hometown. That was a direct shot to the New York Knicks fans who claimed Carmelo Anthony was coming home after the Knicks acquired him. The Knicks organization had the nerve to use Skylar Grey’s “I’m Coming Home” as the anthem for Melo’s introduction to the Knicks. He may have been in Brooklyn, but he's really from Baltimore folks.
We put together starting lineups and a sixth man for each of the top NBA pipelines. And while not everyone associated with their hometown was born and raised right in the heart of the city, they identify with their city and rep it to the end. That's why we put Melo on Team DMV because he has a Baltimore tattoo to prove his allegiance.