July 11, 2014 5:32 PM EDT

It’s not often sports heroes get to bring it back to where it all started.

LeBron James is going back to the team that drafted him in 2003 while he’s in his prime, but usually stars return in the twilight of their career.

The memories fans have of their favorite players loom over diminished play from the stars, and even greats like Reggie Jackson and Babe Ruth couldn’t bring back their hometown magic.

If James is hoping to make this a happy reunion, he’s going to have to buck decades of hometown has-beens.

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