Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune has an extended story on Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard, who is dealing with the mental battles that come with DNP-CDs and criticism from fans during his second NBA season.
"I've shut down social media for a reason," he says. Before he did that, "I heard it all (on Twitter). I've heard, ‘F you, I hope you tear your ACL.' I've heard, ‘You're a bust.' That's the reason I don't look at that stuff anymore, and I probably won't during a season. It's just not worth it. I don't ever listen to that stuff or buy into it, because mentally I have to stay locked in and confident in myself, or that will just kill me."
Leonard deleted the Twitter app on his phone and says he doesn't get on his computer to see what's out there.
"I have to keep my head up," he says. "This year has been humbling for me. This league is a monster. There's a reason there are only 375 players. It's the best league in the world.
"I've had to learn positioning on the court, how to guard in the post, how to use my body and bump people to score. It's been a hard transition for me. It's not as easy as what people think. They say, ‘He's 7 feet and athletic.' Well, that doesn't do the trick."
The full piece is right here.
Leonard, 22, is averaging 2.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 8.9 minutes per game over 38 appearances this season. During his two-year career, Leonard has played the fewest minutes of any 2012 lottery pick.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter