Portland Trail Blazers rookie center Meyers Leonard met with reporters while attending a football...


Portland Trail Blazers rookie center Meyers Leonard met with reporters while attending a football game between his alma mater Illinois and Western Michigan on Saturday. Leonard was on the field for Illinois' 24-7 home win. Here is a transcript of most of Leonard's quotes from the video interview. --------------------------------------- You look bigger "I spent a lot of time in the weight room. Focused on keeping my body healthy, nutrition, sleeping right, everything." What's been up? "It's been a whirlwind. I've lived out of a bag for six months now. New York numerous times, Vegas numerous times. Summer League was great. Not only for myself but the team played great I thought. Starting to get a good connection with Damian Lillard as most people are figuring out and Will Barton as well. I'm pretty happy with how everything went. Been back on campus a few days." Set up in Portland? "Not yet. I'm going to go out there in the next week, probably get a condo or something. Try to get settled." Difference between college and NBA? "A lot of people think the NBA is soft but if you watch the playoffs, it's a war every time. For me, at Summer League, guys are fighting for positions, trying to get on rosters. All throughout the season, it's a war every time you're out there. A lot of people ask me about the pace of the game, the skill level. I don't really have any problem keeping up with that, I would just say the grind of the overall 82 games, 41 at home, 41 away, that will be an interesting task." What's it been like for your family? "It's been an exciting time for us. My brother is out of the Marines now. He signed his papers. I think he did his time, he did his two tours. As far as my mom goes, I'm actually not going to bring her to Portland. I'm going to leave her in Robinson and get her a new house and get her comfortable. I thought with me being away on the road so much I thought it was best to leave her at home around my brother." Splurged yet? "I do plan on saving and investing the rest of my money but I got a Porsche Panamera Turbo." Has your mother had surgery? [Ed. note: Leonard's mother has chronic back pain that prevents her from working, according to this piece by Mike McGraw of] "No. We're working on that. Basically have her health insurance all wrapped up. Getting quotes on that. I'm trying to schedule a neurosurgeon for her so we can figure out if we can go in and do some surgery, or get on medication. Even then, she's trying to ween off medication and get back to her normal life." Your weight? "I fluctuate. 250 to 254 sometimes. I'm a lot stronger than I was. My cardio is good. When I talked to the trainers out there, they said you don't want to put on weight too quick, if you're favoring one thing you could hurt another thing. Obviously they've had some bad luck with big men so I'm just trying to keep my body healthy." Talked to coaching staff? "I talked to coach [Terry] Stotts yesterday. He called me and was checking up on me. He's ready for us to be out in Portland. It's going to be an exciting season and it's going to take a lot of hard work. I know for me, he wants me to be a defensive presence first and foremost. Other than that, just be an energy guy, get up and down the court, and make plays with my athleticism." Endorsements? "I'm getting ready to go with Nike, I believe. Other than that, I have my trading card deals. I'm waiting for some other things to pop up. We've shied away from a few things, as far as my agency goes, but we're going to get some things set in stone soon." --------------------------------------- Video uploaded to YouTube by TheMcColley. -- Ben Golliver | | Twitter