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Patterson: Toronto forever and always will hold a special place in my heart

Patrick Patterson made himself a fan favorite on the Toronto Raptors with his tough defensive play and energy.

Those attributes are also why he is leaving Toronto. Patterson agreed to terms with the Oklahoma City Thunder last week. He thanked the North on Tuesday in an Instagram post.

I want to take this moment to thank not only the fans of Toronto and those who supported and encouraged me throughout the years, but every single individual in the country of Canada. Whether or not you were a constant follower of the Raptors since Day 1, or a newly converted admirer since the trade, I truly appreciate you. Toronto forever and always will hold a special place in my heart. All of the friendships I've made, all of the outstanding memories on and off the court, I will cherish forever. I am whole heartedly thankful for you all welcoming me into your lives and giving me an opportunity to be a part of history. The fans of Toronto are undoubtedly some of the best people I've encountered, and I wish you nothing but the best. I'm looking forward to maintaining these relationships and continuing to build new ones in my new home. Graciously, Patman

A post shared by Patrick Patterson (@pdpatt) on

Patterson, 28, averaged 6.8 PPG and 4.5 RPG for the Raptors as a stretch-4 last season.

-- John Silver