Meyers Leonard Rumors

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Meyers Leonard
Meyers Leonard
Position: C
Born: 02/27/92
Height: 7-1 / 2.16
Weight:244 lbs. / 111.1 kg.
Salary: $3,075,879
The first thing I learned about Leonard came during his flight to Portland to be introduced as a draft pick in the summer of 2012. The Blazers bought their lottery pick a first-class ticket. Leonard bought his girlfriend a coach-class ticket, then traded seats with the woman seated beside her, sending a stranger to first class so he could sit with his girl. The 6-foot-11 Leonard, knees against the seat in front of him, is no dummy. “We’re getting married this summer,” he said.
The Portland Trail Blazers opened their season on Wednesday night with a 106-89 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, but reserve big man Meyers Leonard is still waiting to start his 2014-15 campaign. Leonard, who missed Wednesday night’s game with an upper respiratory illness, did not practice with the team on Thursday and will not travel with the Blazers for Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings Portland head coach Terry Stotts said.
Leonard is part of a three-way October battle for a rotation spot in the frontcourt, so his play during the exhibition season — which starts tonight with a 6 p.m. matchup at the Utah Jazz — will be important. It’s far too early to tell how much — if at all — Leonard will play this season. It’s too early to say whether he’ll earn a rotation spot. But when he does see the floor, if he does carve out a role, it likely will be one you didn’t envision when he was drafted. “I feel like I’m more of a hybrid — I feel like I could grow into playing both (power forward and center),” Leonard said. “Right now, I feel more comfortable picking and popping and spacing the floor. And, certainly, I think that spacing the floor fits with the way the game is changing. That’s the direction the game is going and, at least on the offensive end, I feel like I’m kind of molding into what the game is changing into.”
Big man Meyers Leonard will sit out when the Blazers play Houston, the second consecutive game he will miss because of a strained left shoulder. “He’s not going to play tonight, but he’s fine, and he’ll be back before you know it,” said David Vanterpool, one of the summer league team co-head coaches who will run tonight’s game. Leonard injured the shoulder during a practice last week. He will test the shoulder in practice Monday before the team decides if he will play Tuesday in the Blazers’ 1 p.m. game against Atlanta.
Forty-five minutes later, as players from both teams begin to join him on the court for pre-game workouts, Leonard is finished. It’s a refrain played over and over throughout the course of a long NBA season. “There’s a misnomer going around that Meyers doesn’t work hard,” says Kim Hughes, the assistant coach who spends the most time with Leonard. “He puts in as much time as anybody.”
Leonard takes a deep breath and continues. “I’ve always tried to find the best in people,” he says. “I was hated in high school because people were jealous. Fans from opposing colleges are going to try to get at you. There are always going to be people at my college who didn’t think I was good enough. Same thing now. “I don’t ever try to disrespect people, or say they don’t know what they’re talking about. But in some ways, they don’t. They’re not in my shoes.”