“I think it’s a great day,” LeBron James said on TNF in The Shop Thursday night after the news that Griner was heading back home after nearly 10 months in Russian custody. “For us as Americans, I think having BG back, in the sports world, just having her family’s back, I know her wife misses her and her family misses her, her club misses her here in Phoenix.”
The Los Angeles Laker continued: “To have her a part of the basketball brother and sisterhood, it’s a big day for us and what we do. Kudos to the President, kudos to Kamala Harris and everyone that had something to do with it,” he said.
“There’s a lot of people that’s unlawfully detained right now,” James added, referring to Paul Whelan, an imprisoned American whom Russia refused to include in the swap for Griner. “We hope we can get them all.”
Stephen Curry also shared his thoughts before the SI Awards on Thursday night.
“Shoutout to President Biden and his administration, and all the athletes, activists, people who used their platform to speak on her behalf,” he told Sports Illustrated.
“This is great news that Brittney is home and I’m excited to see her get back with her family,” the Golden State Warriors star said.
Later on Thursday night, over video footage of Griner leaving Russia, Curry shared more thoughts. “Thank you every one that used their platform to make this happen and keep BG on the front of the radar. Especially @potus and your administration and team,” he wrote.
“More American citizens and their families need this outcome too,” the superstar added.
Former Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade also showed his support of Griner by sporting a shirt with her face on it to the Rams vs. Raiders football game Thursday night. He also posted a photo on his Instagram stories in his T-shirt with “BG is home” written over the picture.
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Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison on drug smuggling charges, was released in a one-for-one prisoner swap for international arms dealer Viktor Bout on Thursday.
The Phoenix Mercury star is reportedly “in good health” and will be “offered a wide range of support options” as she returns home, a senior White House official said Thursday. She landed in San Antonio early Friday morning and has since reunited with her wife Cherelle and family.