NBA players don’t fight all their battles on the court.
Indiana Pacers guard Caris LeVert just fought a battle against cancer. And, thankfully, it looks like he won.
According to a report by the Associated Press, the 26-year-old LeVert had surgery on Monday (Jan. 25) as treatment for a cancerous growth on his left kidney. The guard is expected to make full recovery and no further treatment should be required.
Interestingly, Caris LeVert has all-star guard James Harden to thank for his diagnosis and expected recovery. According to the AP report, the mass on his left kidney was found during a routine physical. He was required to go through the physical after he was traded. The diagnosis was a renal cell carcinoma.
“I didn’t have any symptoms. I was playing in games, hadn’t missed any games yet,” LeVert said. “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 of it and this trade could have saved me in the long run.”
Caris LeVert Traded to Indiana Pacers
LeVert was sent from Brooklyn to Indiana as part of the shocking trade that sent all-star James Harden from Houston to Brooklyn. Also part of the trade was Victor Oladipo. He was sent from Indiana to Houston. LeVert was expected to replace Oladipo in Indiana.
“It’s definitely been some trying times for myself and my family,” LeVert said last week. “I’m just very grateful for the support I’ve received not only from the players but from the front office and the fans. It’s going to be a crazy recovery as well, but I think myself and the Pacers are really optimistic about the future.”
Before the surgery knocked him out of the season for the foreseeable future, LeVert was scoring 18.5 points per game during this season. He was also averaging just over 4 rebounds and 6 assists.
According to a report by ESPN, one of Caris LeVert’s new teammates is rooting for him.
“I’ve always known Caris from afar, I’ve never known him as a person,” Myles Turner, a center for the Pacers, 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 it was a real win for the organization.”
NBA Mourns Kobe Bryant
While the NBA is celebrating Caris LeVert’s positive results, it is mourning the death of one of its all-time greats. Kobe Bryant died one year ago today (Jan. 26) in a helicopter crash. You can relive some of the Black Mamba’s best moments here. Other sports figures, including Shaquille O’Neal, are also remembering Kobe Bryant on the anniversary of his death.