Meyers Leonard to the Bucks
The Milwaukee Bucks added a big man this evening in 7’1” Center Meyers Leonard. Per reports Leonard has been signed to a 10 Day contract, paving the way to his return to the NBA after having used an Anti-Semitic slur while playing a video game during a live-streamed event.
For Milwaukee this move carries virtually no risk, save public relations questions. The Bucks get 10 days to see if the 30 yr old Leonard can give them usable minutes as a back-up to Brook Lopez. They really were in need of a strong big man.
When Leonard played, he had some serviceable numbers in a 48% field goal shooting percentage per game. He also, in 16 minutes per game, averaged 5 points, a rebound and an assist, Leonard is also a pretty strong three point shooter with a career average of 39%.
So why wasn’t this guy playing? He hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since January of 2021.
Related: Extent of Giannis Injury Revealed
He Said “What?”
Leonard used an anti-Semitic slur while playing a video game that was being live streamed. So, “explain that to me like I am five and don’t play vids”. Basically, a live-stream game is when you are playing with others and recording the game you are playing so others can watch or you can watch later. They are surprisingly popular events and Leonard was playing a popular game “Call of Duty”. He was injured at the time while playing for the Miami Heat.
His choice of words were certainly wrong and the NBA fined him $50,000.
Here is a quote from him taken from ESPN’s “Outside the Lines”
“There are absolutely no excuses for what happened that day, and ignorance, sadly, is a very real thing. I am not running from this, but I did not know that it happened. I felt like I had just destroyed my life and everything that I worked for, to be honest… People had every right to, I suppose, make assumptions about me. People were going to have to, in the media, comment on this. And I understand, I do.”
Meyers Leonard is a former 11th overall pick of the Portland Trail Blazers. Leonard has also been out at times due to ankle and shoulder issues. But now he has a clean bill of health and will begin playing with Milwaukee immediately. Here are some initial twitter reactions.
Worth reading what Meyers Leonard has done to make amends, grow and learn from his situation before judging him and Bucks decision to sign him. https://t.co/89Nv8AAeyO
— Paul Henning (@brewcitypaul) February 21, 2023
As a Jew, having followed his work with the Jewish community to not just apologize but understand why it hurt so much and talk to those who he hurt, he absolutely deserves a second chance. Because he did the work. https://t.co/kf0JdMMUm1
— Simon Sharkey-Gotlieb (@simon_shargot) February 20, 2023
Up Next for the Bucks
So, more than likely two new faces will make their debut for Milwaukee on Friday at home vs Miami. Both Jae Crowder and Meyers Leonard Leonard are expected to play.
The best stretch to really get a run going comes in early March as Milwaukee plays Washington on the road (March 5th), Orlando on the road (March 7th), and then Brooklyn at home. After that they have a slightly challenging road trip (Golden State, Phoenix and Sacramento) but then they really fall into a nice groove. They have 24 games remaining. Milwaukee has now made some roster changes. If those were the “right” changes could mean a big difference as the club finishes out its season.
Milwaukee is currently 41-17. They are on a 12 game winning streak.
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