Damian Lillard has posted an emotional farewell to the Portland Trail Blazers after joining the Milwaukee Bucks.
The 33-year-old point guard, who has spent his entire 11-year career with the Blazers, officially requested his trade out of Portland earlier this summer.
Lillard, whose 32.2 points average last season was the third highest in the NBA, told the Blazers’ fans on X, formerly known as Twitter: “I want to start off by saying this isn’t a goodbye, it’s a see you later.
“My words have always been from the heart when it comes to you Rip City. I consider you my home as well as many of my family members and that won’t change.
“I’ve built my entire adulthood here and made so many friends that I will never forget.
“The moments on the basketball court as great as they have been don’t even compare to the experience I’ve had with all of you.
“The way you embraced me from day one gave me no choice but to reciprocate the love a thousand times and I don’t regret it one bit.”
Lillard, a seven-time All-Star and named among the NBA’s 75 greatest players of all-time in 2021, was traded to the Bucks on Wednesday as part of a three-team deal with the Phoenix Suns.
Lillard will team up with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo at the Bucks, who were quickly installed as favourites to win the NBA title next season.