Nance composed an open letter to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor that allowed the former Cavs star to adequately offer thanks while noting that he’ll continue to be supportive of the community.
“The Cleveland Cavaliers — an organization that while I’ve only played for 3½ years, I’ve been a part of for each and every one of my 28,” Nance wrote. “From being in my Dad’s arms as a 2 year old as I watched his jersey get retired at Gund Arena, to TeePeeing Shaq’s house with my family to ‘Welcome him to the neighborhood’ when he came to the Cavs in 2009, and even playing 1-on-1 games with current Cavs GM and friend Koby Altman to get in shape for my high school basketball season, this organization has been a part of every stage of my life.
“When I got traded here it was the best thing that could’ve happened to both me, and my entire family. I got to play with another pretty decent player from Akron, Ohio and be part of a team that went to the Finals, was fortunate enough to buy a house less than 10 minutes from where I grew up, and the greatest gift of all, my wife and I welcomed our new baby girl into our lives.
“Being born and raised here, I’ve always felt that Cleveland — and the people who live here — are so deserving of more. More love, more acknowledgement, more appreciation. While playing here I’ve tried to facilitate exactly that, and just because I’m moving on to a new team doesn’t mean that will stop, this will always be home for me.”
Nance, who grew up in Northeast Ohio, was acquired by the Cavaliers from the Los Angeles Lakers in February 2018. While much of his time with the Cavs had been under the team’s rebuilding philosophy, his continually positive approach endeared him to the community.
The trade itself wasn’t too much of a surprise, considering that Nance has been mentioned in trade talks during the past year.
Nance closed out his letter by again indicating that his change of uniforms won’t diminish his strong bond with the area.
“My family and I couldn’t be more thankful to the Cavs organization and the entire Northeast Ohio community,” Nance wrote. “Cleveland will always be home for the Nances, it’s in our blood.
“’You can take the kid out of Cleveland, but you can’t take Cleveland out of the kid.’”
Given the classy way that Nance is departing, it seems certain that when the Trail Blazers come to Cleveland during the 2021-22 season, he’ll be the recipient of a standing ovation.