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A Complicated Homecoming

Cleveland Indian fans show their support of Lebron James' return.
Cleveland Indian fans show their support of Lebron James' return.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

In case you hadn't heard, Lebron James is coming home. He said himself in that essay that his four years in Miami were "like college" for him. Well, if Lebron James is returning home after college, that puts him in the same boat as millions of other college graduates, many of whom must resort to living with their parents due to lack of employment. While lack of employment may not be a problem Lebron James will have to face in the coming months and years, he, and many other college graduates will have to figure out how to navigate this complicated situation.

One problem returning graduates (and Lebron) may face is that they feel like they are different people when they return, while the parents (or in Lebron's case, Cleveland) may have their own expectations. Cleveland may be expecting a championship (or two, or three, or four), but Lebron and his young Cavalier team may need some time before they are ready to deliver, and Lebron admits as much in his essay. Similarly, parents may expect a mature young adult ready to look for a job and ready to accept home responsibilities. What they may find instead is a confused and frustrated young adult unsure of what they want in life or how to go about getting it. In both cases, patience and support are vital to help nurture healthy habits and relationships.

A power struggle can be expected as well, considering the returning graduate has been able to live without many restrictions for several years. Parents may feel the need to set rules and boundaries, while the young adult may think they are too old to have to "check in" with their parents on a regular basis. Like the returning graduates, Lebron is also probably used to having a lot of input on strategy, style, and money magement, and he may find that he is not granted the same freedoms with a new general manager and a coach who has never coached in the NBA before.

There will be many lessons to be learned for both parties in the coming seasons. If everyone involved can be patient and check their expectations at the door, then success at the highest level is a realistic possibility.