After seven seasons in the NBA, former Portland Trail Blazers big man Meyers Leonard is currently adjusting to a new city for the first time. Luckily he had help finding a place to live.
Over the offseason, Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey sent Leonard (and Maurice Harkless, who ended up in L.A. with the Clippers) to the Miami Heat in exchange for Hassan Whiteside.
According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, a transaction did not just take place between the two teams. In addition to swapping cities, Leonard ended up renting the $7.3 million Miami Beach property that Whiteside has called home since 2016.
“So,” Leonard said, “we somehow connected with one of Hassan’s good buddies. And they also thought, to my understanding, Hassan really likes his house, he likes to keep good care of it, and they thought, ‘Well, Meyers and Elle are pretty easy-going people and they could take good care of the house, pay the rent.’
”And also, for us, it made sense because I train in LA in the offseason. Most people say, ‘I’ve got to have a 12-month lease.’ So we got the nine months, and it was perfect for us, because now we’re not eating three months of rent.”
While Leonard now resides in Whiteside’s old home, there is one noticeable element missing, an element that got the house featured on Animal Planet’s “Tanked”: fish.
“There’s actually not fish in it,” Leonard said of the oversized tank that at one point had 50 inhabitants, including six Heniochus Butterflyfish, simply because Whiteside thought they resembled referees. “But it’s pretty cool. I mean, why not? I guess it was a unique piece of the house.”
Similarly, the koi pond remains, sans koi.
“He actually since has shipped every one of them to Portland. Every one of them,” Leonard said. “No fish now.”
Leonard is currently averaging 7.3 points and four rebounds for a white-hot Miami team that started the season 7-3 and is currently sitting at third place in the Eastern Conference. The two seven-foot big men will cross paths for the first time this season on January 5 when the Blazers pay a visit to South Beach to take on the Heat.
You can read Winderman’s entire article here.