Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard took out a full-page advertisement in Sunday's Orlando Sentinel, three weeks after forcing a trade from the Magic to the Lakers.
In the ad, Howard said it was a "blessing" to play for the Orlando fans for eight years and "was truly a privilege and an honor.
"The ad appeared on Page C7 of the newspaper as well as on its website, according to ESPN.com."Words cannot express the love that I have for Orlando," Howard also said in the ad. "With your support we have done great things in this city from hanging banners to impacting our youth."
Above the text is a montage of seven photographs showing Howard interacting with fans, on the court with teammates and holding an oversized check at a charity event.
"Although my career with the Magic has come to a close, my love for the city and the people that make it beautiful will never end," Howard says in the ad.
Howard asked the Magic to be traded throughout the final year of his contract before agreeing to an extension. Then, he changed his mind about wanting to stay in Orlando and made more trade requests.
He was finally dealt to the Lakers in August in a blockbuster deal that also involved the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets.
Howard missed the last few games of the regular season due to back surgery in April. It is not known when Howard will be ready to play. He only has one more year on his contract.