Following the signing of his new contract with the New York Knicks, Joakim Noah released a letter in the Chicago Tribune addressing the city that he called home for the first nine years of his career.

He stated that his career with Chicago was “the best time in my life.” In his letter, Noah not only thanked the fans for always supporting him on and off the court, but he also promised to help improve the city and make Chicago “a safer place for kids to grow up in.”

From the letter:

Thank you to every teammate I battled with. We won and we lost, but I have love and respect for every single one of you. One day this basketball journey will be over and all we will have are memories. The best times in my life took place on the United Center floor. You are all my brothers.

The relationships I made in Chicago go far beyond basketball, and to me that is just as big as winning the championship. I wish the people in Chicago nothing but the best and I hope we can all continue to be united in bringing some peace to the city.

Noah signed with the Knicks during his free agency period this offseason after New York offered him a four-year, $72-million contract. This came after Noah had spent most of his one-year tenure with new Bulls’ head coach, Fred Hoidberg, on the bench.

The 2-time NBA All-Defensive first team center joins a crew of old stars, including ex-Bulls point guard Derrick Rose and Brandon Jennings.

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The 6’11” hustle player gained nationwide fame for his locker room energy and grit in each and every game. Despite sometimes providing too much excitement on the court, Noah has been nothing but gracious during his relocation from the Windy City. While the 31 year old grew up rooting for the Knicks, his love for Chicago will stay strong, according to Noah’s letter earlier today.

Noah averaged a career low 4.3 points per game last season while only starting two of Chicago’s games due to a number of different injuries and overall lack of good play. Analysts around the league have mostly attributed Noah’s recent lack of success to his knee surgery in the May of 2014, which sidelined him for a while during the 2014 offseason.

On the other hand, however, Noah’s determination on the court brought a lot of fan popularity, and the center provides another insight into the tough decisions these NBA athletes truly have to make during their free agency periods.

You can read the entirety of his farewell letter here.

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