Meyers Leonard shows love to Erik Spoelstra as he expresses gratitude for being back in NBA

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Former Miami Heat big man Meyers Leonard has been given another chance in the league after being out of the NBA for quite some time, and he showed gratitude to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra after his first game back.

Leonard posted a series of pictures to Instagram after logging his first minutes with the Milwaukee Bucks, and he featured Spoelstra in a couple of the pictures.


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Prior to the 2020-21 season, Leonard was seen as a solid rotation piece. He started his career with the Portland Trail Blazers and then was traded to the Heat prior to the 2019-20 season.

He made 49 starts for the Heat that season and returned to the team in the 2020-21 campaign before suffering a season-ending injury.

His career was later turned upside down after he made a serious error while streaming live on Twitch. During a stream, he uttered an antisemitic slur.

He was suspended and later traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who promptly released him.

Since then, he’s clearly made a great effort to learn from his mistake and has seemingly made some very real inroads with the Jewish community.

Earlier this week, Leonard signed a 10-day contract with the Bucks. It’s unclear if he’ll end up sticking with the team for the long term, but it is nonetheless obvious that he is ecstatic to be back in the NBA.

It was a simple twist of fate that pinned Leonard against his old team and many of his old teammates in his first action back in the league on Friday. The Bucks wiped the floor with the Heat in a 128-99 demolishing.

Leonard didn’t log a ton of playing time in the game, but he was effective when on the floor. In about 15 minutes of playing time, Leonard finished the game with five points and six rebounds.

While the Heat are desperately fighting for playoff positioning, the Bucks are all but assured to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference by the season’s end.

They are currently just a half-game back of the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 seed. Only time will tell if Leonard remains on the team for the rest of the season.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.