The Brooklyn Nets are on a roll, and it seems that they are becoming the title favorite more every day.  While their success is awesome to watch for Nets fans who have spent years wondering if they would ever be contenders again, something more important happened this week.  The Nets played against the Pacers. More importantly, the Nets played against Caris LeVert for the first time since the James Harden trade and finding out he had renal cell carcinoma.   

Injury History

Caris LeVert was a joy to watch for Nets fans.  A guy who fell in the draft because of injury history, he improved with the Nets every year.  He went from averaging eight points to 18 from 2016-2017 to last year.  While he played well when he was on the court, injuries seemed to hold him back during his time in the pros.


In the 2018-2019 season, Caris was on track to be an All-Star. It really seemed he found his feel for the NBA for the first time.  A terrible leg injury would sideline him for a good chunk of the season, and his return seemed to be nonexistent based on the injury he had to happen in Minnesota.  He, along with D’Angelo Russell, were the heartbeat of that team. They went from 26 wins to a playoff team over a season.  While this injury seemed to be the worst he would face in the NBA, nobody expected the Michigan alum, who was off to a hot start this year, to face the adversity he would after being traded.

Never Saw It Coming

BOSTON, MA – MARCH 3: Caris LeVert #22 of the Brooklyn Nets handles the ball against the Boston Celtics on March 03, 2020 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

When a player is traded, teams do routine physicals. It’s more to ensure that all the I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. In this instance, LeVert’s world would be shook when an MRI revealed a small mass on his kidney.  No signs or symptoms, and as a matter of fact, Caris just had one of his best games before the trade when he dropped 43 points in a tough loss to Memphis. 

Forever Loved in Brooklyn

Caris would undergo a successful surgery and is now back in action. However, what this man has been through, the adversity he has faced, and the way he has overcome it and carried himself is nothing short of amazing.  I have never heard or read a bad thing anyone had to say about the person Caris LeVert is.  While he is no longer wearing black and white, he will always be loved by the Brooklyn faithful.  He has arguably faced the most adversity that he did not bring on himself out of anyone in the NBA. In that time, he has not shown any sign of weakness during it to the world.  He has been there for his teammates, community and has always been an uplifting face to see rather if he is in uniform or not.

The Return

Caris would drop 17 points in his second game back in action against Brooklyn. While the Nets won, the real winner was Caris LeVert.  Nets fans were ecstatic to land Harden. However, they were heartbroken to see a core piece of what made the Nets what they are today be dealt to get him.  Caris, as stated before, has faced more adversity than some do in their whole career just in the past five years.  To see him on the court was a great thing to see. 

Thank you Caris

I should have talked about this sooner, but I wanted to wait for the right time.  The truth is there was never a right time.  There were never enough words to thank Caris for what he did for Brooklyn. While it hurts to see him in another uniform, it was truly a blessing in disguise.  The NBA is a wild league, as we have come to find out. Who knows? Maybe he will end up playing for the home team in the Barclay Center again one day.  Until then, Nets fans will likely be tuning into Pacer games and following Caris on what is already an amazing story in the NBA for the rest of his career.

For more on the NBA and all sports, check out Belly Up Sports for all the best content out there.  Follow me on Twitter @lagraham2 for more on the Nets and the NBA.

About Author

Luke Graham

Kentucky raised. Nets, Colts, Reds, Preds, and Louisville are the teams you can catch me screaming at the tv watching. Mike Trout is literally the baseball god, and Luka Doncic will retire a top-five player all time. Opinions are my own, which you can find on Twitter @lagraham2. Tune in to the Midweek Midrange on Wednesdays at 9 pm EST.

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