clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Meyers Leonard Talks Versatility and Off-season Focus

Meyers Leonard breaks down his experience with voluntary workouts and how they helped him focus on advancing his game.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Media Day 2015 was in full swing this afternoon and the Portland Trail Blazers stepped up to the plate with several interviews. You can find a rundown of the event as it unfolded on social media here and find video and audio from various participants across the site.

Here's a transcript of an interview Trail Blazers F/C Meyers Leonard gave to assembled media, including David MacKay of Blazer's Edge.

What was the most beneficial aspect of voluntary workouts, individually for you, and for the team as a whole?

In the weight room I worked on a lot of core strength and leg strength, trying to be able to move laterally to guard fours and fives; again, trying to be able to do everything. I feel like I have a pretty big spectrum of things I can do, but doing them just okay is not good enough for me. I want to be good and better at a lot of different things. With the on the court stuff, as far as it goes for me individually, trying to get my shot off quicker, understanding that I’m going to be on scouting reports more this year, teams are probably going to try to run me off the three. Being able to one-dribble pullup, maybe get to the basket, maybe create and find someone on the weak side; again, there are a lot of things that are going to be available, but I have to be able to read and react and understand what the defense is throwing at me.

Then again, on the defensive side of the ball, being able to guard a four, a stretch four, someone who is a little quicker, then be able to go down to the post, guard more of a brute five, keep him off the boards. There are a lot of different things that I want to be able to do to help the team. Whatever coach needs from me, I want to be able to do for him.

The summer has been good, and just the San Diego and the workouts in September and the camaraderie, getting to know the guys, trying to build chemistry. Again, off the court, because when you trust someone off the court you’re a little more comfortable around them. It actually seems to help on the court. You trust them a little more. Obviously, in between the lines, the game itself takes care of it, but when you trust somebody and you know them a little better off the court, it seems to help in my opinion.