Last weekend, Larry Sanders agreed to a buyout with the Milwaukee Bucks – just a few years removed from a $44 million contract extension – and announced that he had no current plans to sign elsewhere. Essentially, he was quitting basketball for the time being.
It was a decision that caught a lot of basketball fans off-guard considering Sanders is only 26-years old and the big man was still a highly valuable asset in the NBA.
But, as Sanders explained in a video published by The Players’ Tribune this week, he feels it’s necessary for basketball to take a back seat to his main priority – his own mental health – at the moment. Sanders revealed that he entered treatment for anxiety and depression at a mental health hospital in Wisconsin and is currently focusing on getting himself right before considering a return to professional basketball.
“I love basketball, I’ll always be playing basketball. But for it to be consuming so much of my life and time right now, it’s not there for me. It’s not worth it.”
Athletes often aren’t willing to open up to the public about their mental health, so it’s pretty refreshing to see Sanders find the courage to not only do what’s best for himself, but to also stand behind it publicly. Good for him. I wish him the best of luck.