Brooklyn Boro

LeVert has successful cancer surgery

Recently traded Nets guard expected to make full recovery

January 27, 2021 John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Caris LeVert didn’t want to leave Brooklyn.

But doing so may have played a major role in saving the former Nets point guard’s life.

LeVert, who was part of the four-team blockbuster deal that brought superstar James Harden to Brooklyn two weeks ago, underwent successful surgery to treat cell carcinoma of his left kidney Monday, the Indiana Pacers announced.

The cancer was discovered during a physical shortly after LeVert, who played four seasons for Brooklyn before getting jettisoned to Indiana, underwent a mandatory physical for the Pacers following the deal.

Rather than nixing the trade, the Indiana organization has instead opted to stand by LeVert and hope that the prognosis of a full recovery holds true for the 26-year-old Columbus, Ohio native.

Though he is out indefinitely, LeVert did tell ESPN that the timing of the Harden swap proved to be fortuitous for his health.

“I didn’t have any symptoms. I was playing in games. I hadn’t missed any games this season yet. I was feeling 100 percent healthy,” LeVert revealed Tuesday.

“So, in a way, this trade definitely showed and revealed what was going on in my body, so I’m definitely looking at it from that side and definitely humbled to know that this trade could’ve possibly saved me in the long run.”

LeVert was Brooklyn’s top player during the team’s time in the NBA bubble last summer, helping the Nets clinch an Eastern Conference playoff spot before they were ousted by then-defending NBA champion Toronto in the opening round.

Even without logging a single minute in a Pacers uniform, LeVert is already inspiring his new teammates with his courage and positive attitude toward the diagnosis and ensuing surgery.

“I’ve always known Caris from afar, I’ve never known him as a person,” Indiana center Myles Turner told ESPN.

“I’ve always heard great things about him, obviously as a basketball player and an individual, so I think that’s what we have in this culture. He’s gonna fit so perfectly whenever that is, but right now we’re not really worried about basketball with him. We want him to continue to fight through this. I think (the trade) was a real win for the organization.”

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