After knowing he had renal cell carcinoma, the retired Nets guard was back on the court in less than two months. Caris LeVert‘s early-season blockbuster trade took a more significant turn.
Renal cell carcinoma of the kidney was found during the physical needed to complete the January trade that took him to the Pacers. LeVert thanked the trade for certainly saving his life.
LeVert returned to the court healthy after his surgery and rehab to debut his new team against the Phoenix Suns.
Pacers coach Nate Bjorkgren didn’t hold back LeVert. Instead, he put him in the starting lineup straight away.
He did it, confirming that he wouldn’t be under minutes restriction before the game.
The plan paid off as LeVert scored 13 points, 7 rebounds in 27 minutes in Indiana’s 122-11 victory breaking Phoenix’s five-game win streak.
LeVert, who hadn’t played in an NBA game since Jan. 12, acknowledged that he had “heavy legs” after the game but was pleased to be back in action.
LeVert: "What I've been through in the past couple of months, it's just a blessing to be out here on the court playing the game I love." #AlwaysGame pic.twitter.com/UpujbR6UwV
— Bally Sports Indiana (@BallySportsIN) March 14, 2021
“I didn’t think I would be here a month ago, particularly this soon after all that happened,” LeVert said. “There’s definitely a level of gratefulness. Man, I’m just glad to be on the court.”
LeVert for Indiana Pacers
Indiana purchased LeVert as part of the four-team mega-trade that brought former Kia MVP James Harden to Brooklyn.
He played his first four and a half seasons with the Nets. And after being picked by the pacers in the first round of the 2016 NBA draft, he shifted.
Former All-Star Victor Oladipo and forward T.J. Warren, who is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left foot, were supposed to reinforce the Pacers’ wing rotation.
The Pacers (17-20) are in 9th position in the Eastern Conference after Saturday’s Victory. A half-game clear of 11th-place Chicago for a play-in tournament place.
“A trade of this magnitude saved his life.” @Dennis3DScott discusses Caris LeVert’s return to the court. pic.twitter.com/WzMeVd0zOe
— NBA TV (@NBATV) March 14, 2021