The Portland Trail Blazers lost four starters from last season’s team in free agency this summer, with LaMarcus Aldridge’s defection to the San Antonio Spurs obviously being the biggest blow.

Aldridge spent the first nine years of his NBA career in Portland, but says the decision to bolt was a “personal” one.

The big fella wants the passionate Blazer fanbase to know he cherished his time in Rip City.

Per The Oregonian:

Dear Rip City, Thank you!

 

Those two words on a page don’t begin to express the gratitude I have for the opportunity the entire Trail Blazers organization, my teammates, the media, and you fans gave me. The past nine years have been a blessing, and I will take all of the valuable memories with me as I head back home.

 

As I’m sure you can respect, my decision was a very personal one but not one I took lightly. Although I will be wearing a different uniform the next time I come back to Portland, please know that I will always hold my time in a Blazers uniform near and dear to my heart.

 

Your friend, LA