Ex-Heat Big Man Plots NBA Comeback: ‘I Love It There’

Meyers Leonard

Getty Meyers Leonard #0 of the Miami Heat reacts against the Atlanta Hawks in the second half at State Farm Arena on October 31, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

It’s been seven months since Meyers Leonard was kicked off the Miami Heat. He was fined and suspended after using an anti-Semitic slur during a video game livestream session. The Heat organization, in lockstep with the NBA, made it clear that behavior was unacceptable.

Leonard was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder and immediately cut. So Leonard sat out the rest of the year and went about educating himself on Jewish culture, including addressing kids at a synagogue in Boca Raton. The 11th overall pick from the 2012 draft seems genuinely contrite and sorrowful. And ready to embark down the comeback trail.

Leonard told TMZ Sports he would welcome a return to South Beach if Pat Riley was willing give him a second chance. The 29-year-old big man thanked the Jewish community for being so generous and understanding throughout a “very long and hard process.” That famed “Miami Heat Culture” is still pulsing through his veins.

“I would be ecstatic if I could play for the Miami Heat again,” Leonard told TMZ Sports. “I fell in love with that place, I really did. My wife and I love it there. There’s something about the culture there that’s just me.”

Leonard knows some people might not be willing to forgive and forget. It’s really not up to him in the end.

“I can only be hopeful that people will allow me bounce back from a mistake,” Leonard said. “This was a mistake of extreme ignorance, and I own it.”

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Trying Year for the Leonard Family

No one is justifying the harsh language used by Leonard in that now infamous Twitch video. It was revolting. But to hear the disgraced NBA player talk about people threatening to rape his wife (per TMZ Sports) and the influx of death threats toward his family, it paints an ugly picture of society. No one ever wins in these situations, something Elle Leonard pointed out in response to one negative tweet.

Meyers hasn’t seen action in a game since January 9, 2021 when he scored one point in eight minutes. The 7-footer was placed on injured reserve last February after electing for season-ending shoulder surgery. He averaged 5.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 54 games during two seasons for the Heat, including 10.3 minutes per game in their 2020 Cinderella NBA Finals run.

Tyler Herro: Switch Turned On

Tyler Herro has come out swinging in the first three games this season. He warned everyone not to sleep on him and a 30-point outburst the other night showed us why.

The 21-year-old looks physically stronger and mentally more mature. He’s averaging 23.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists per game while anchoring the Heat’s second unit. He’s been a difference-maker.

“You can tell that switch has switched for him,” Bam Adebayo told NBA.com. “It’s his third year, he’s making that growth, he’s making that next step,” Adebayo said. “I’m proud of the young fella. I feel like he’s going to be great.”

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