Meyers Leonard Continuing To Spread Positivity

Meyers Leonard
Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
by Joe Beguiristain

On Thursday afternoon, Meyers Leonard spoke to the media on a conference call about the strangeness of not being around the team, how he and his wife spread positivity, how he’s rehabbing from his ankle injury and more.

Check out some notable quotes below.

On The Strangeness Of The Situation And Not Being Around The Team

“Just by being a creature of habit, it’s a very weird time for me right now. I would say that I have, to be completely honest, taken full advantage of, I guess what you’d call, a little bit more free time. But also, I absolutely love the game of basketball. I absolutely love being a part of the Miami HEAT and the Miami HEAT culture. I’ve grown very close to, really, all of my teammates and the coaches and the staff. I’m a people person, and so having to be away from everyone is very weird for me. Now, of course, I love my wife and my dog. It’s been great to spend quality time with them, certainly. But on the professional side of things, it is a little weird not playing and not competing. Of course, I was recovering from an ankle injury, but I would just say that it’s been weird because I really felt at home. I felt that I was very welcomed from the beginning. I continually was trying to, I guess, show people how much I care and my willingness to work and to try to always bring that positive energy to the locker room…I do miss that because this has been a very special year for not only me, but obviously for our team.”

“On the whole, it’s very strange, but when you have a locker room full of guys like us that care and understand how to be true pros and they approach it the right way…I think that we would have kind of a leg up on everyone else because of who we are and how we operate at the HEAT…but I would just say that everyone needs to understand that basketball will resume when the time is right…the number one priority…is everyone’s safety. And that’s just what it is. I’ll be frank with you, I read UD’s article on The Player’s Tribune, and I loved it…people need to stay at home if they can.”

On How He And His Wife Spread Positivity Via Social Media And Give Back To The Community

“At the end of the day, I can truly say from my heart that my wife and I are ultimately trying to impact people in a positive way. Whether that’s with our time, whether that’s with social media content, whether that’s with a donation, whatever it may be, it truly does come from our hearts…Elle and I sat down the morning after the NBA suspension and then…the whole world is seemingly shutting down. So, we sat down, we had breakfast and we said, ‘You know what? This is not a time to just sit around and do nothing. This is a time to take advantage of not only spending time together, but also doing things that we wouldn’t normally have time to do, number one. And number two, how do we continue to impact people at a high level?’ And so, we broke it down as a couple and as individuals…and it came down to a few different things, but I would say the main topics were, for me personally, streaming on Twitch and continuing to connect with fans…of course, I’ve been involved in many, many different charity streams and charity Call of Duty tournaments, which has raised well over $100,000, probably $250,000 in total…it’s been awesome.”

[Shortly after the call, Leonard announced on Twitter that he would host The Hammer Classic on Sunday at 1PM ET, a 24-hour live Twitch stream to raise money for Feeding South Florida and Feeding America.]

On How He’s Progressing And Rehabbing From His Ankle Injury

“We have been granted access for the PT to see me, Brandon [Gilliam], our head of Physical Therapy, and so it’s been great to have him over two to three times a week. I do have a pool, thankful for that…we’re able to use the pool…obviously, the buoyancy of water allows for me to do some movements in such that I otherwise…wouldn’t be able to do on the ground. But with that being said, not only have we done footwork and agility and some bounding stuff in the pool, but we’ve also now progressed to solid ground, which is huge for me…all the normal agility work that an NBA player would go though, I’m comfortable doing. So, basically, my best answer as to where I would be right now would be, I don’t know, 90 percent? Because the truth is, I haven’t shot a jump shot, I haven’t tried to go up and dunk off one or two feet…in terms of basketball shape, I’m certainly not there. And then in terms of basketball-specific movement and taking the physical demand of…guarding a Joel Embiid, guarding a Sabonis, something like that, I don’t know I can do that right now. However, I do feel good. The swelling is coming down every day as my body understands the load management and, obviously, the connection between literally the brain and my body and my ankle. And now, it just allows for me to do everyday life things totally normal. Like I said, a ton of these drills and exercises, totally normal.”

“Would I have been able to return near the end of the regular season? My hopes were, yes, get some games under my belt and be ready for the playoffs. But let me just tell you…cast it, do whatever you got to do, Meyers Leonard is playing in the playoffs. Period.”

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