Nikola Vucevic Was Emotional After 9-Year With Orlando Magic: "I Came As A Kid, And Left As A Man"

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via Slam Studios

via Slam Studios

One of the biggest and most unexpected moves of the trade deadline went down between the Chicago Bulls and the Orlando Magic, as Arturas Karnisovas managed to lure Nikola Vucevic away for multiple first-round picks and a deal centered around Wendell Carter Jr and Otto Porter Jr.

The Orlando Magic will finally embrace a long-overdue rebuild, while the Chicago Bulls now have another All-Star next to Zach LaVine to build around and make a playoff push after a rough couple of weeks.

And, even though everybody was pretty excited about this new chapter in 'Vooch's career, the big man couldn't help to get emotional when asked about leaving the city and the organization:

“The hardest part was just the people. Over nine years, you’re going to meet a lot of great people. That was just the hardest for me, just leaving that place. Obviously, it meant a lot to me. I came as a kid and left as a man," Vucevic said.

Vucevic entered the league with the Philadelphia 76ers but spent the next nine years of his career in Orlando. There, he blossomed as one of the biggest double-double threats in the league, a two-time All-Star and a dominant scorer from all three levels.

This season, he's averaging 24.4 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.6 three-pointers per game on 48/40/83 shooting and it's only a matter of time before he helps the struggling Chicago Bulls make a playoff push.

But even if he finds his best shape with Billy Donovan and at the Windy City, there's no doubt that Orlando will always hold a special place in Vucevic's heart and résumé.

Credit: Slam Studios