Meyers Leonard RumorsAll NBA Players
Height: 7-1 / 2.16
Weight:244 lbs. / 111.1 kg.
Height: 7-1 / 2.16
Weight:244 lbs. / 111.1 kg.
Meyers Leonard: Interesting to see how much better Memphis has been with Mike Conley in game 2. Guy has been really good all night.
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.
Meyers Leonard: RIP Jerome Kersey. Gone too soon. Great basketball player but even better person. Was lucky enough to work with him in community events.
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.
Erik Gundersen: Blazers have picked up options on CJ McCollum and Meyers Leonard, the team announces. Both have had good preseasons.
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.
But a handful of Blazers players already are gearing up for next season. Will Barton, Meyers Leonard, CJ McCollum and Allen Crabbe returned to Portland on Monday to participate in offseason conditioning and basketball workouts at the Blazers’ practice facility in Tualatin. It was the first in a series of workouts that will stretch off and on through June.
Six players on the NBA roster — McCollum, Crabbe, Barton, Leonard, Freeland and Thomas Robinson — are expected to play in Las Vegas this summer. It’s likely Robinson and Freeland will take part in the volunteer workouts at some point this month.
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.”
Leonard doesn’t want to sound as if he has a thin skin. He admits, though, that he resents some of the implications of his critics. “It’s only been two years (in the NBA),” he says. “I really only played one year of college. I played some as a rookie but very little this year. What do people really know about me? “It’s tough to really say what I want to say, because I still respect people’s opinion and what they have to say. But they don’t know me. They don’t where I come from. They don’t know what I’ve been through. They have no idea how hard this game is. I just want to remain confident, and in a good way, prove those people wrong.”
“I’ve shut down social media for a reason,” he says. Before he did that, “I heard it all (on Twitter). I’ve heard, ‘F you, I hope you tear your ACL.’ I’ve heard, ‘You’re a bust.’ That’s the reason I don’t look at that stuff anymore, and I probably won’t during a season. It’s just not worth it. I don’t ever listen to that stuff or buy into it, because mentally I have to stay locked in and confident in myself, or that will just kill me.” Leonard deleted the Twitter app on his phone and says he doesn’t get on his computer to see what’s out there. “I don’t read any more articles, either,” he says. “I don’t listen to talk radio. You should never get too high or too low. Social media and people talking about you will do it.”
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.”
Post defenders are being reduced to nothing more than lifeless strips of bologna, waiting to be consumed. “There’s no one that can really stop him one-on-one on the block, let alone anywhere on the court,” Leonard told Blazersedge. “L.A. is so skilled. It basically just means that L.A. is about to get a bucket. He’s eating.”
30 Dec 13
Meyers Leonard: Gotta admit. I feel bad for @justinbieber . The dude can’t go anywhere or do anything without being scrutinized. Constantly being watched.
John Schuhmann: Both Meyers Leonard & Daniel Orton have been suspended one game for this tussle: on.nba.com/1hVreSZ
The suspension is without pay and will cost Leonard $20,201 in salary. The incident happened in the fourth quarter during extended mop-up time after the Blazers had secured the lopsided win.
Philadelphia’s Daniel Orton was trying to back down Portland’s Meyers Leonard in to the post while the ball was on the other side of the court, and Leonard had enough and just threw him to the ground. Orton responded with an elbow. That got both of them tossed. And both can expect to write a check to the league for this.
Chris Haynes: #Blazers coach Terry Stotts says Meyers Leonard will “most likely” be inactive tonight vs Bucks.
Chris Haynes: #Blazers coach Terry Stotts says Meyers Leonard will not be activated tonight vs. Nets.
Joe Freeman: Meyers Leonard (gastroenteritis) did not travel with #Blazers to Boston, but coach Stotts said he is hopeful Leonard will join team in NY.
Mike Tokito: Victor Claver’s 3-game inactive streak ends as Meyers Leonard is out with gastroenteritis. We suspect @CandaceDBuckner
Chris Haynes: #Blazers Meyers Leonard limited in practice after vomiting up to 10 times during session. Thinks it’s something he ate. Won’t miss any time.
Even during a down year last season, Howard feasted against the Blazers, and Leonard made it clear that he feels the Rockets’ All-Star center has taken his game to another level. “You can tell he’s worked on his post game,” Leonard told Blazersedge. “He scored with both hands around the rim, sweep through to the basket. Grabbing offensive rebounds and dunking comes very easy to him. His presence in the paint, to be able to rebound and block shots, is pretty significant.”
Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts discussed his decision to go with second-year big man Joel Freeland over fellow second-year center Meyers Leonard, the No. 11 pick in the 2012 NBA draft, as the backup to starter Robin Lopez after practice Friday. “Joel’s earned his minutes,” Stotts said of the 26-year-old British big man. “We need defense from that position. … Joel’s earned it. He’s had an impact on the game defensively and he’s had a really good summer.”
25 Oct 13
Another day brought another injury for the hard-luck Trail Blazers. Backup center Meyers Leonard suffered a strained right foot during the Blazers’ 104-98 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night and was forced to sit out Thursday’s practice. Leonard is expected to travel with the Blazers to Boise, where they will play the Utah Jazz Friday in an exhibition game, but he’s listed as questionable.