Former Bucks Player Larry Sanders Opens Up On How Depression Made Him Turn His Back On The NBA

By: 02.25.15  •  17 Comments
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Larry Sanders, recently waived by the Milwaukee Bucks, gets millions to put a ball in a hoop among other basketball things. So sympathy’s rare when a player jeopardizes his riches over lacking motivation and smoking weed. Nevertheless, he decides to explain himself via The Players’ Tribune today rather than give a boiler plate apology.

Open season’s par for course whenever a player goes AWOL for the aforementioned reasons. Therefore, folks may naturally say “everyday people do jobs they don’t enjoy to make ends meet. Who the heck does he think he is?” or something to that effect. There’s something much deeper behind his waiver request, though. Larry’s getting treatment for depression and draws from his experience to express why he left the NBA.

“I think this is seen to be a desirable, lucrative job and position so people say, ‘How could you be unhappy there? How could that be a place you don’t want to be?’ You know, values and relationships with the people around me, that’s like my real riches. That’s…my lasting wealth. I understand that [it’s not wealth, it’s happiness.] Happiness isn’t behind a golden gate. Happiness is really an internal thing.”

Surely some heads scoff at his stance given his abrupt departure from the Bucks. Truth be told, I’m having a hard time disagreeing with his view on happiness. Of course something like buying an item you worked hard for yields a good feeling. That high’s fleeting in most cases and then it’s back to dealing with day-to-day problems.

I’ve never seen someone lack life’s essentials and be content with their situation. Money’s a necessity, after all. Yet I’ve witnessed plenty of people have their money squared away and suffer from severe depression.

Depression’s a real problem and some people, myself at times included, can find it difficult to empathize: especially if they make loads of money like Sanders. It’s easy to reduce athletes to essentially robots and I’ve been guilty of it in the past. However, if Larry’s sincere, I hope he finds peace in whatever he does going forward.

Moreover, the video sees Sanders briefly explain his medicinal marijuana usage to treat stress. He also discusses his initial struggles in maintaining his life as a player. You’re already here so you have five minutes to spare. Give the interview a look and draw conclusions on Larry’s intent to identify himself off the court.

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(via The Player’s Tribune)

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