Two years ago Larry Sanders took the NBA world by storm, becoming a stalwart defensive player and a fan favorite across the league. He was young, exciting, had all sorts of athleticism. There was nothing to dislike–except maybe his offensive game, but that comes with time for most big men anyway. He became so popular that Zach Lowe even motioned for his official name to be changed to LARRY SANDERS!
In the offseason after the 2012-13 season, the Bucks promptly rewarded him with a big contract extension. And from there, things went swiftly downhill. He had multiple off the court incidents, including a fight at a nightclub. Then he struggled under new head coach Larry Drew, and ultimately missed most of the season due to various injuries. As such, many people in Milwaukee would be quite fine with him never putting on the Bucks uniform again.
And the new story coming out today is just reaffirming that belief among many people. According to Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times, Sanders punched Mike Dunleavy in the locker room during the 2012-13 season.
I mean it’s one thing to make comments behind closed doors about guys if you’re a player. But when you physically hit them, that’s quite another thing. And everybody knows about the Monta Ellis incident.
Earlier that same season — which didn’t go reported until I found out last season, if that makes sense – was that early in that season he and Mike Dunleavy had a confrontation. Dunleavy was sitting in front of his stall after a game. They’re talking about sharing the ball blah blah blah and Sanders walks over and says ‘helloooo’ and clocks him.
I still believe in Larry Sanders’ ability to turn things around and that this was just a strange, unfortunate season. But this story is not helping that belief. I really want Larry to be great, but then every few months a new story comes out about something bad he did. Hopefully this will be the last incident we hear about for a long time and we can get back to talking about the great things Sanders does on the court.