NBA stars aren’t averse to partnering with and dropping some of their hard-earned cash on esports organizations, with Meyers Leonard becoming the newest name to join the ranks by investing in FaZe Clan.
NBA and esports: a brief history
Major American sports leagues and brands have been dipping their toes in and out of the esports water for some time, with the NBA making the step to help launch and endorse the NBA 2K league as a sister division of the association.
While teams like the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets have their own teams in other games like League of Legends, NBA stars are also getting in on the act - with an ever-growing list of names picking a video gaming side.The Houston Rockets own the Clutch Gaming team that currently competes in the NA LCS.
Leonard joins up with FaZe
Now, it has been revealed that Trail Blazers center Meyers Leonard has joined up with FaZe Clan as an investor.
The 27-year-old former College basketball standout revealed his investment via a LinkedIn post, shortly after the team’s final regular season game win over the Los Angeles Lakers on April 10 - giving his reaction to the partnership.
Something between the two entities seemed to be in the works when Leonard was spotted with a custom pair of black and grey Nike LeBron 16s sneakers that had the iconic FaZe logo on the heel, his Twitch username in clear view on the ankle and #FaZeUp on the shoe’s tongue prior to the game against the Lakers.
— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) April 10, 2019
Shoutout to FaZe Jaomock
The player’s partnership with the organization, which reportedly started prior to his announcement, was teased throughout the NBA regular season as Leonard repped the brand at game’s and spoke about his love for video games during an AMA on the official NBA subreddit.
Prior to the Trailblazers win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 17, the center showed his support for FaZe Clan Fortnite player Brendan ‘Jaomock’ O'Brien by wearing the player’s jersey to the game - eventually sharing a photograph of himself pointing to Jaomock’s name on Twitter.
HAMMER x FAZE :fire::hammer: pic.twitter.com/BOWBLHLVGs
— Meyers Leonard (@MeyersLeonard11) January 17, 2019
Leonard joins an ever-growing group of NBA personalities who have now made their mark on the esports scene. Former Angeles Lakers star Rick Fox launched Echo Fox back in 2015, while former teammate Shaquille O’Neal has invested in NRG Esports.
It remains to be seen if Leonard hooks up with any of the FaZe clan members for a Fortnite session or two in the future, but it’s probably a safe bet that we’ll see him drop another FaZe Up if the Blazers can extend their NBA Playoffs run.