I’ve always loved Larry’s game. I watched him patrol the paint in person against Boston in December 2012, and realized how unique a defensive force he was. Rajon Rondo appeared paranoid throughout the game, keeping an eye on Sanders’ whereabouts even when Sanders was twenty-feet away on the weak side.
I appreciated him even more after this excellent Lee Jenkins profile in Sports Illustrated from April, 2013. I was pissed with Larry after reading about him leaving his dogs out in the frigid 17 degree Milwaukee night. When he was suspended for marijuana it didn’t move me in a positive or negative direction. When he explained that he believes in the medical benefits of marijuana, I was curious that he was unafraid to voice his opinion on what really shouldn’t be a controversial issue anymore.
Then he walked away from basketball and I wondered if the temperament I read about way back in the Jenkins piece (from 2013) was genuinely keeping basketball from being a priority in his life. To which, I thought, “Pretty awesome that such a high-profile athlete is unafraid to walk away from an enormous contract and deal with his personal issues.” Then I read Ben Golliver’s interview with Sanders a few months ago, and that sense of the bigger picture and Sanders’ introspection and sense of self became that much clearer.
Now he’s opening up and explaining his situation through The Player’s Tribune. All I can say is “Hell, Yes!” I’d love to see Sanders back on the court for the Bucks, a truly likable young team, but more importantly, he’s telling everyone that their obsession with materialism, money and fame does not apply to all. Keep it 100, Larry.
By the way, you should be watching another Larry, Larry Wilmore, new host of The Nightly Show, who focuses on that impossible task of always keepin’ it 100.