There is a bit of a running joke about the feud between Portland Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard and New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins, but their beef is very real. As Kristian Winfield of SB Nation showed in December of 2016, the two have a longstanding history of run-ins with the other.
Leonard, on a flight home to Portland after a loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, was very complimentary of Cousins when naming his hardest player to guard:
Probably Boogie. He has it all. He can handle the ball, go back to the basket in the post and face up in the post, he can shoot 3’s, willing passer etc https://t.co/7kbHz7OpWW— Meyers Leonard (@MeyersLeonard11) January 15, 2018
This falls in line with a similar thing he told The Oregonian after a November 2016 game:
”He’s the matchup I look forward to more than any in the league … I mean, DeMarcus Cousins is the most skilled big in the NBA. Period.”
But one month later, Leonard also said he “can’t respect someone like that” after Cousins was not ejected for possibly intentionally spitting his mouthguard toward Portland’s bench.
It’s not a one-sided beef either, as Cousins seemingly forgot Leonard’s name while denying his defensive ability in January 2016:
”Meyers whatever you say it — yeah, Leonard — took advantage of the situation a little bit more. If you want to credit them, go ahead. A lot of shots didn’t fall.”
”I’m not giving him that much credit,” he said of Leonard. “He’s not even a defender.”
Leonard and Cousins will have one more chance to play against each other this season on Mar. 27.