Meyers Leonard signing 10-day take care of Bucks, sources say

Free agent 7-footer Meyers Leonard — out of the NBA since March 2021 after uttering an antisemitic slur on a online game livestream earlier than rehabilitating post-surgical nerve injury on his proper leg — is signing a 10-day contract with the Milwaukee Bucks, sources informed ESPN on Monday.

The Bucks have been monitoring Leonard’s progress for over a 12 months and carried out a exercise with him final month, sources stated. Milwaukee had an open roster spot and wished to usher in an enormous man with capturing skill and a playoff historical past. Leonard performed 28 playoff video games in his seven seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Leonard, 30, has had an extended highway again to the NBA since enjoying his final recreation in January 2021 with the Miami Heat, together with a one-week NBA suspension and a $50,000 wonderful for the antisemitic slur. In an interview that aired final month, Leonard informed Jeremy Schaap on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that he did not know the that means or historical past of the slur he used.

“There are absolutely no excuses for what happened that day,” Leonard informed OTL. “And ignorance, sadly, is a very real thing. I am not running from this, but I did not know that it happened.”

After his suspension, Leonard was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder and instantly waived. Leonard sought counseling from two rabbis in South Florida and met with a number of Jewish organizations on a frequent foundation, studying extra about antisemitism.

“I felt like I had just destroyed my life and everything that I worked for, to be honest,” Leonard informed Schaap. “… 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.

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“I stated, ‘You higher go deal with this and to point out individuals what’s in your coronary heart.’ … I believed that it might be simpler to be lifeless than it will be to take care of what had simply occurred, as a result of I would like everybody to love me. I do not hate anyone. I’d by no means deliberately damage anyone.”

Leonard has averaged 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds 447 NBA games in stops with the Trail Blazers and Heat. Leonard’s return to the NBA was delayed because of injury, too, including ankle and shoulder rehabilitations that left him unable to pursue a contract until earlier this season.

“Since his use of a derogatory and unacceptable time period in 2021, Meyers Leonard has been held accountable and has devoted appreciable effort and time to grasp the impression of his remark,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said recently. “He has met with quite a few leaders within the Jewish neighborhood and took part in neighborhood packages to teach himself and use his platform to share his learnings with others.”