Center Meyers Leonard started the 2020-21 NBA season by signing a two-year contract with the Miami Heat that included a team option for the second year. Ahead of this year’s trade deadline, Leonard was sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who subsequently waived him. The decision to release him was taken mainly due to his antics off the court, though.
Barely a few weeks into the new year, Meyers Leonard injured his left shoulder in a matchup against the Washington Wizards. He eventually underwent season-ending surgery and remained away from the Miami Heat to complete his rehab.
Meyers Leonard took to live streaming during that period and in March, he uttered an anti-Semitic slur while playing a game of Call of Duty online. This caused a massive uproar and Leonard was eventually fined $50,000 for his actions.
This wasn’t the first case of him making the headlines for the wrong reasons either. Back in the Orlando bubble, NBA players had decided to take a knee during the national anthem as a sign of support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Leonard was among the few names who decided against kneeling.
He explained his actions by stating that his brother had previously served with the US Marines and that he still believed in Black Lives Matter.
Why is Meyers Leonard in the limelight again?
Meyers Leonard’s case is in the limelight because of an unrelated event involving ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols and her controversial remarks about her colleague Maria Taylor. While addressing questions on this matter during his NBA Finals press conference, Commissioner Adam Silver mentioned the following:
“…people recognize that people make mistakes — that careers shouldn’t be erased by a single comment.”
This led to several fans pointing at Meyers Leonard’s situation and how he found his way out of the league because of a comment he made online. People even argued that just like Rachel Nichols, Leonard had also apologized for his misdemeanor.
Has Meyers Leonard been signed by another team?
Since being waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder, Meyers Leonard has remained without a contract. Besides his bad reputation, he was also recovering from a serious injury. So it wasn’t surprising that no other team decided to sign him on a veteran’s minimum contract.
As far as the upcoming season is concerned, Leonard will not be amongst the most desired players at the beginning of free agency. At the same time, he’s just 29 years old and has carved a niche for himself as a backup big man. Don’t be surprised if a team in need of depth signs Leonard late into next season.
Keep up with the latest NBA trade rumors at Sportskeeda as we draw closer to the off-season!