Newly acquired Lakers center Dwight Howard thanked his supporters in Orlando… (Orlando Sentinel )
As if Orlando Magic fans needed another painful reminder of Dwight Howard's departure, the newest Lakers superstar eagerly provided it over the weekend.
Howard took out a full-page advertisement in the sports section of Sunday's Orlando Sentinel thanking Magic fans for his eight seasons with the franchise that he led to the NBA Finals in 2009.
Of course, as any long-suffering Magic fan knows, that's where the team lost to the Lakers.
"To play the game of basketball in the NBA is a blessing and to have the opportunity to play before the Orlando fans for eight years was truly a privilege and an honor," read the ad, which featured pictures of a smiling Howard posing with children and hugging a fan.
"Words cannot express the love that I have for Orlando. With your support we have done great things in this city from hanging banners to impacting our youth.
"Although my career has come to a close, my love for the city and the people that make it beautiful will never end."
To borrow from Tom Cruise's character in "Cocktail," "Everything ends badly, otherwise it wouldn't end." Howard's exit from Orlando last month as part of a four-team trade also involving the Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets was about as acrimonious as it could get.
The All-Star center had teased fans this year by opting in for the final year of his contract before telling management he wanted to leave the only franchise he has played for since entering the NBA.
He got his wish last month, leaving Magic fans with memories ... and some newsprint that probably won't make it into anyone's scrapbook.
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