There was so much more he could've said, but the ever-classy Dave Gruber took the high road after he was abruptly axed by the Wollongong Hawks on Wednesday.
A reliable, selfless and loyal servant of the Hawks for five years, Gruber has become a victim of the club's over-loaded front-court.
The 33-year-old forward was devastated when he was informed of the controversial squeeze-out, which won't sit well with hardened Hawks fans.
''I'm gutted,'' Gruber said.
''It was definitely a surprise to me. I'm sure it wasn't an easy decision for anyone, but the decision was made to make changes to the team and someone had to go.
‘‘'Obviously I'm disappointed at the circumstances. We had a pretty solid season last year and I still feel I've got a lot to offer.
‘‘'I understand it's a business decision based on the roster and a balanced team. I just wish I could be a part of it.'’’
It is believed the Hawks have sent an SOS to free agent guard Rhys Martin to bolster the backcourt.
Martin ended a six-season stint with Wollongong in March and was hoping to secure a contract to play in Europe.
But the 28-year-old playmaker's luck didn't pan out and a return to the Hawks seems imminent.
Gruber was popular among teammates and known around the NBL for his hustle and toughness.
Hawks management has taken a huge risk by cutting the veteran enforcer. The team has lost its most uncompromising interior defender and best low-post player.
Wollongong players held their own meeting on Monday to discuss the poor start to the season (1-5), but that was before they lost Gruber as a teammate.
They were shocked to learn prior to Wednesday's training session that he had played his last game for the club.
Wollongong coach Gordie McLeod will have to conjure some special words to pull his team together for Friday night's home meeting with reigning champions Perth.
The Hawks play their eighth game in 23 days on the road against Melbourne on Sunday.
Compounding Wollongong's disrupted preparation is Import guard Gary Ervin's back injury.
Gruber hasn't spoken to rival clubs and has no immediate plans.
He and wife Kara have two infant daughters and were totally unprepared for the sudden ending with the Hawks.
''My head's still spinning at the moment,'' he said.
I'm fit and healthy and I do feel I have a lot to offer. I've really enjoyed my time living and playing in Wollongong. I'll let the dust settle before making any major decisions moving forward.
''I'll miss the guys and the daily grind at practice. I've gone into battle with most of these guys for the past five years and made some great friends. I wish them nothing but the best.
''We've pretty much lived together and worked towards the same goals, shared the fun side and the serious side of what we do. It'll be tough to come to terms with losing all that.''
In a statement, the Hawks said ‘‘with five frontline players on the current roster, it was decided that Dave Gruber would be released for the remainder of the 2014/15 season’’.
''The decision was not an easy one for the club and was made after a thorough review process and careful consideration of all the possible alternatives for the remainder of the 2014-15 season and beyond,'' Wollongong Hawks general manager Kim Welch said.
''Dave Gruber has given exceptional service to the club and over the years has played a pivotal role for the club both on and off the court.
''Again, this was a very, very tough decision but as a club we must do everything we can to ensure we give ourselves the best chance to compete with the best teams in the league.''