“Despite his anti-Semitic statements, Meyers Leonard will play in the NBA again”: Pat Riley believes the former Miami Heat Center will get another chance
Pat Riley strongly believes that Meyers Leonard will get a second chance in the NBA. Maybe not with the Miami Heat but he will play again.
Miami Heat center Meyers Leonard was sidelined earlier this year due to a shoulder injury. A month later, one mistake cost him 2 seasons in the NBA. While streaming on Twitch, he used an anti-semitic slur in rage.
Heat banned him from all practice facilities for a week and fined him $50,000. In addition, he was heavily criticized on social media and was banned from Twitch as well.
The 6’10 Meyers Leonard did not play as well as a starting center is expected to play. He only averaged 6.1 points and 4.5 rebounds in the 2019-20 season, the year Miami Heat made the finals. He may get a shot at reviving his career if he is signed by any NBA team this season.
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Meyers Leonard spent the last 6 months building relations with the Jewish community
The 1-week suspension ultimately led to Meyers Lenard getting waived last season. Miami Heat used it as a perfect opportunity to trade him to Oklahoma City Thunder for Trevor Ariza. OKC proceeded to waive him 10 days later and just like that Meyers Leonard was out of the NBA.
Pat Riley recently told TMZ that he expects Meyers Leonard to return to the league at some point.
“He’s going to play basketball again,” Riley said. “He will.”
He didn’t give assurances about Miami Heat signing him back but he believes the 29-year old will play pro basketball again.
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Meyers Leonard spent the last 5 months educating himself about the anti-semitic hate and history of the Jewish community. He admits that no one forced him to take these steps, he did it willingly.
The former Miami Heat center clearly took steps in the right direction and deserves another chance in the NBA.