Last summer the Bucks decided to make Larry Sanders a cornerstone of their rebuilding efforts and gave him a four-year, $44 million contract.
He has “rewarded” the Bucks with a disastrous season on and off the court. He has played just 23 games (not playing as well as last year when he was healthy), and he missed the bulk of that time due to needing hand surgery after shredding a ligament during a bar fight. He fought with teammates. He got cited by police for leaving his dogs out in the cold. He’s been out and will be the rest of the season with a broken eye socket (suffered in a game).
Now there is this: He has been suspended five games by the NBA for violating the league’s drug policy, the league announced Friday. Five games is the league’s marijuana penalty, and Sanders admitted that is what the suspension is for. Just a reminder, you have to test positive three times for marijuana in league testing to get a suspension, the first two times you just get sent to rehab/counseling.
Sanders released this statement.
“I apologize to the entire Bucks organization and our fans for being suspended five games for using marijuana in violation of the NBA Anti-Drug Program. I take full responsibility for my actions.”
The Bucks released this statement.
“Larry Sanders has a responsibility to every person in our organization and our fans. We are all disappointed by the news of his suspension.”
Because he is out injured for the season he will serve those games at the start of next season.
The Bucks are rebuilding and while it looked a year ago like Sanders could be a part of that, if he doesn’t mature quickly the Bucks will jettison him to the first team that will take on his contract. Which will take time to find.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.