Milwaukee Bucks big man Larry Sanders had what many would call a breakout season during the 2012-13 campaign. The third-year Virginia Commonwealth product averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. He shot 50.6% from the floor and has developed into one of the game’s best rim protector.
The re-tooled Bucks rewarded Sanders with a four-year contract that could be worth as much as $48 million.
Despite posting a 38-44 record, the Bucks reached the postseason as the eight seed, but were overmatched and swept by the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat.
The end result was the only reason the series was disaster. During the series, Sanders and former Bucks guard (and now Dallas Mavericks guard) Monta Ellis nearly came to blows.
Now, former Bucks assistant coach Anthony Goldwide says Sanders didn’t come to play every night.
“Last year, and the year before that, Larry didn’t come to play every night, some nights he took off,” Goldwire told TalkingHoopz.com (as transcribed by CBS’s Matt Moore). Some guys felt like he didn’t have the right to speak. Now, once you get in the playoffs, now you fell like you want to talk.”
Sanders averaged 10.8 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game during the series. He shot 45.5% from the field.