IFWT_Larry Sanders 1

Larry Sanders was emerging as one of the better big men in the league.  He signed a four-year, $44 million contract with the Milwaukee Bucks and then everything went down hill.  He began to miss time due to injury, a club fight and drug suspensions.  Then he and the Bucks agreed to a buyout and he walked away from basketball.  Everyone was wondering what was going on with Sanders, well now he tells the truth in his own words with no media manipulation.

Shay Marie

He introduces himself like this in the video: “I’m Larry Sanders, I’m a person. I’m a father. I’m an artist. I’m a writer. I’m a painter. I’m a musician. And sometimes I play basketball.”

So what made him leave a “dream” job and turn down millions of dollars?

“I actually entered into Rogers Memorial Hospital and it was a program for anxiety and depression, mood disorders,” Sanders said. “It taught me a lot about myself. It taught me a lot about what’s important and where will want to devote my time and energy.”

“Cannabis came later on in my life,” Sanders said. “It was, for me, used medically for some of the symptoms that I was having due to a lot of stress and pressure I was under given my work.

“Coming into the league, you get dropped this large amount of money out of nowhere and people automatically change around you,” he continued. “That just happens. You become an ATM to some people. You have to be correct in your statements. You have to state things a certain way. You give up your freedom of speech for real. You really can’t say how you feel.”

Sanders said that he does love basketball. He just can’t let it consume his entire life right now. It’s not worth it.

When Sanders had to sit out for much of the 2013-2014 season because of injuries and the initial suspension, he spent his time on writing, painting, reading, music. He has a novel in the works. He was a skateboarder before he was a basketball player, and he has lots of custom-designed boards. Basketball is an important thing to him, but it’s not the only thing.

“People really like labels,” he said. “You get to identify something with something else that you may think it makes sense to you. You may rationalize it. Just don’t neglect the and. Don’t neglect the and. That’s what I would say. Hey, you can say I’m selfish. And I’m loving. And I’m caring. And I’m fearful sometimes. And I’m also brave. We all are more than just one thing.”

Video via The Players Tribune

Quotes via CBS Sports