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Rubio bids an emotional goodbye

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9), shown during an April 4 game against the Golden State Warriors, has been traded to Utah. (Sergio Estrada / USA TODAY Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS — Ricky Rubio delivered an emotional farewell message to Timberwolves fans Saturday morning, one day after he was dealt to Utah for a first-round draft pick.

Rubio spent his first six NBA seasons in Minnesota. With his dazzling dimes and lovable moments such as telling former Timberwolves guard Alexey Shved to change his face, "be happy, enjoy," he became a fan favorite.

To those fans who supported him during his time in Minnesota, Rubio delivered a message via his Instagram on Saturday. The message: Thank you.

Here's the message, in full:

Basketball brought me here 6 years ago. I didn't know much about Minnesota, and now I'm proud to call it home. You never know what this journey will bring you, and I wouldn't change a bit of mine over the last 6 years.

I remember arriving here like it was yesterday. I stepped out of the airport and was overwhelmed with your support. It's something I'll never forget.

What we have in Minnesota is special and you don't know that until you live there. You helped me to grow as a player, but more importantly as a person. I learned a lot, met incredible people who became part of my family and will always be in my heart. ... especially you, Flip.

I gave my best night after night. I'm sorry we couldn't make the playoffs because you deserve it. I am grateful to the Timberwolves organization and all of my coaches, trainers and staff. Finally, I want to thank all of the amazing teammates I was fortunate to play alongside for the last 6 years. I wish nothing but the best for you guys.

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