Leonard with the Trail Blazers in 2019
|No. 0 – Miami Heat|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
|Born||February 27, 1992|
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)|
|Listed weight||260 lb (118 kg)|
|High school||Robinson (Robinson, Illinois)|
|NBA draft||2012 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11th overall|
|Selected by the Portland Trail Blazers|
|2012–2019||Portland Trail Blazers|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
Meyers Patrick Leonard (born February 27, 1992) is an American professional basketball player for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Illinois Fighting Illini before being selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the 11th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft. He also is a content creator for FaZe Clan in his spare time and streams on Twitch. After spending his first seven seasons with the Trail Blazers, he was traded to the Heat in the 2019 offseason.
Leonard, born in Woodbridge, Virginia, grew up in Robinson, Illinois, a small town in southeastern Illinois. When he was six years old, his father James, a golf pro, was killed in a freak bicycle accident. His mother Tracie, once an athlete who would run upwards of 10 miles a day, had been largely housebound since her husband's death, due to an old horseback injury and subsequent disc surgery that left her with crippling pain.
When he was in second grade, the young Leonard gained a surrogate family. Brian Siler, an insurance agent in Robinson who had a son of the same age, was aware of Leonard's family situation, and eventually became a father figure. Leonard regularly attended the Silers' church and went on family vacations. According to ESPN.com writer Dana O'Neil:
"Looking to shoehorn the relationship into a convenient box, outsiders have called this Meyers' version of The Blind Side, but the comparison is inaccurate. The book and subsequent movie tell the story of Michael Oher, a boy who was homeless and didn't have much of a family life. Meyers Leonard has a family. It has not abandoned him. On the contrary, Tracie loves her son, loves him so much that she was willing to accept help."
High school career
Leonard entered high school as a guard, but was converted to center after a six-inch (15 cm) growth spurt between his freshman and sophomore years. O'Neil called him "something of a basketball anomaly", adding that Leonard "gained all that height without losing his coordination or his fast-twitch muscles."
In high school, Leonard was named a member of the 2010 Illinois All-State Team as selected by the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, News-Gazette, and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association. Leonard led Robinson High School to the IHSA class 2A state championship before choosing to play collegiate basketball at the University of Illinois.
|Name||Hometown||High school / college||Height||Weight||Commit date|
|Robinson, IL||Robinson High School||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)||240 lb (110 kg)||Jul 29, 2008|
|Recruiting star ratings: Scout: Rivals: 247Sports: N/A ESPN grade: 95|
|Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 6 (C) Rivals: 6 (C) ESPN: 4 (C)|
As a freshman at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign in 2010–11, Leonard averaged 2.1 points and 1.2 rebounds per game in 8.2 minutes per game for the Fighting Illini. Following the season he was invited to the June 17 – 24, 2011, 17-man tryouts for the 12-man FIBA Under-19 World Championship team by USA Basketball. Leonard was one of 12 selected players that competed as Team USA in the 2011 FIBA U19 World Championships in Latvia from June 30 – July 10, 2011, and placed fifth in the competition.
As a sophomore in 2011–12, Leonard averaged 13.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Leonard was named Big 10 Co-Player of the Week on December 5, 2011 after averaging 16.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in two Illinois victories. Leonard was also named Big 10 Player of the Week on December 26, 2011 after averaging 16.5 points and 14.5 rebounds per game in two games. Following the season, Leonard was named Honorable Mention All Big-10. He then entered the NBA draft.
Portland Trail Blazers (2012–2019)
Leonard was drafted with the 11th overall pick by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2012 NBA draft. On July 13 he signed his rookie scale contract with the Trail Blazers. On October 31, 2012, Leonard made his NBA debut, logging 23 minutes and scoring four points against the Los Angeles Lakers. He made his first career start on November 21, 2012, against the Phoenix Suns, finishing with 12 points and 5 rebounds. On March 30, 2013, he had a season-best game with 22 points and 10 rebounds in a loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Leonard's numbers dipped from his rookie to sophomore season, falling behind fellow second-year big man Joel Freeland as the primary backup to starter Robin Lopez. He saw action in 29 fewer games in 2013–14, with his minutes and points per game cut in half, as the Blazers transformed from a lottery team to a playoff contender. On January 2, 2014, he had a season-best game with 8 points and 10 rebounds in a 134–104 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
In 2014–15, Leonard played only 13 total minutes in Portland's first 9 games as he was stuck in the big man rotation behind Lopez, Freeland and Chris Kaman. On November 15, 2014, with LaMarcus Aldridge scratched with an upper respiratory illness against the Brooklyn Nets, Leonard picked up the start at power forward, playing 29 minutes. With his first major minutes at the power forward spot, he performed admirably, tallying 12 rebounds and hitting a three-pointer. He went on to pick up DNPs in 11 of the next 12 games. But when Lopez broke his hand going up for a rebound against the San Antonio Spurs on December 15, Leonard got another chance to show that he deserved time on the court. His improvement was incremental, but noticeable, over the following seven weeks. His play while Lopez was out earned him time to prove himself. He only saw six DNPs after the turn of the year, and grew in confidence despite limited minutes. At the season's end, Leonard had produced a remarkable Steve Nash-like 50/40/90 season, shooting 51% from the field, 42% from three-point range, and 93% from the free throw line. In the penultimate game of the regular season on April 13, he scored a career-high 24 points in a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He went on to record a playoff-best game with 13 points and 13 rebounds in a win over the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 4 of Portland's first-round series. The Blazers lost the series 4–1.
On December 1, 2015, Leonard scored a season-high 23 points in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks. On March 24, 2016, he was ruled out for the rest of the season after injuring his left shoulder, requiring surgery.
On July 10, 2016, Leonard re-signed with the Trail Blazers on a four-year, $41 million contract. On October 8, 2016, he was cleared for all practice activities, six months after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder. On December 23, 2016, he scored a season-high 16 points off the bench in a 110–90 loss to the Spurs.
On May 20, 2019, in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, Leonard recorded a career-high 30 points and 12 rebounds in a 119–117 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Miami Heat (2019–present)
On July 6, 2019, Leonard was traded to the Miami Heat in a four-team trade. The Heat reached the 2020 NBA Finals, but lost the series in 6 games to the Los Angeles Lakers. Leonard started two games in the Finals when Bam Adebayo was injured.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
Leonard has two older brothers; Bailey is a U.S. Marine who has served in Afghanistan. Leonard is one of only two NBA players, along with Jonathan Isaac, to stand for the National Anthem before games during the resumed 2020 season. Leonard's dog, Bella died of cancer in December 2017. In April 2019, Leonard invested in FaZe Clan as a content creator. On August 2, 2015, Leonard married his long-time sweetheart Elle Bielfeldt. They founded a sports bar company called Level Foods together.
- Duran, H. B. (April 11, 2019). "NBA Player Meyers Leonard Announces Investment In FaZe Clan". The Esports Observer. Archived from the original on April 12, 2019. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
- Klee, Paul (June 1, 2010). "Meyers Leonard: A road less traveled". The News-Gazette. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
- O'Neil, Dana (January 25, 2012). "Meyers Leonard shoulders plenty". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 25, 2012.
- Helfgot, Mike (March 14, 2010). "Class 2A championship: Derek Hannahs cashes in on overtime opportunities to lead Robinson to victory". ChicagoTribune.com. Retrieved March 14, 2010.
- "Illinois Athletics – Meyers Leonard". FightingIllini.com. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
- Snyder, Mark (May 12, 2011). "Keith Appling, Tim Hardaway Jr. invited to USA Basketball U-19 tryouts". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
- "TENTH FIBA MEN'S U19 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP – 2011". USA Basketball. August 6, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
- "Illinois, Indiana and Michigan State Claim Weekly Accolades". BigTen.org. December 5, 2011. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- "Leonard Named Big Ten Player of the Week Again". FightingIllini.com. December 26, 2011. Archived from the original on March 4, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012.
- "2011–12 All-Big Ten Men's Basketball Team" (PDF). cstv.com. Retrieved March 7, 2012.
- Powers, Scott (April 13, 2012). "Meyers Leonard to enter NBA draft". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Leonard goes 11th in NBA draft
- Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard sign Trail Blazers rookie contracts
- Blazers Officially Announce Signings Of Damian Lillard & Meyers Leonard
- Lakers fall to Trail Blazers as Steve Nash exits with injury
- Marcin Gortat scores 22 as Suns blow out Blazers
- Meyers Leonard 2012-13 Game Log
- You be the GM: Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard
- Meyers Leonard 2013-14 Game Log
- Meyers Leonard: From Afterthought to Folk Hero
- Westbrook scores 36; Thunder beat Trail Blazers 101-90
- Meyers Leonard 2014-15 Game Log
- "Matthews returns and Mavs defeat Trail Blazers 115-112 in OT". Archived from the original on 2018-05-09. Retrieved 2016-01-05.
- MEYERS LEONARD TO UNDERGO SHOULDER SURGERY
- "TRAIL BLAZERS SIGN MEYERS LEONARD". NBA.com. July 10, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- Freeman, Joe (July 10, 2016). "Trail Blazers, Meyers Leonard agree to 4-year, $41 million free agent deal". OregonLive.com. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
- Holdahl, Casey (October 8, 2016). "LEONARD CLEARED FOR FULL PRACTICE, EXPECTED TO PLAY VERSUS LAKERS". NBA.com. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
- "Leonard has 33 and Spurs beat Blazers 110-90". ESPN.com. December 23, 2016. Retrieved December 24, 2016.
- "Warriors beat Blazers 119-117 in OT for NBA Finals berth". ESPN.com. May 20, 2019. Retrieved May 20, 2019.
- "HEAT Acquire Butler And Leonard". NBA.com. July 6, 2019. Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- Marine surprises brother after not seeing him for 2 years