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.
After a rare period of on-court competence, the 76ers led the Celtics by five with two minutes left tonight.
Then, Philadelphia snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
The 76ers yielded a 9-0 run to close an 84-80 setback.
They’re now 0-16. Combined with their 0-10 finish to last season, that’s a 26-game losing streak – tied for longest in NBA history. Last year’s 76ers already shared the record.
Philadelphia is also in danger of the worst start to a season. The 2009-10 New Jersey Nets began 0-18, and last year’s 76ers won only one game sooner.
The 76ers will try to avoid the all-time longest streak at the Rockets on Friday. If that goes unsuccessfully, they’ll try to avoid matching the worst season start at the Grizzlies on Sunday. And if both fail, they could set the worst-start record against the Lakers on Tuesday.
76ers-Lakers – it’s shaping up to be a big one.
The Timberwolves didn’t select the meanest tweets about these players, but credit Karl-Anthony Towns, Tyus Jones, Shabazz Muhammad and Zach LaVine for being good sports.
LeBron James received an injection in his back before the season.
Dave McMenamin of ESPN:
LeBron James now says he feels better than he did even a year ago.
“I feel better in the mornings; I feel better throughout the games; I feel better throughout the day,” James said before a Cavs shootaround Wednesday in preparation for their game against the Toronto Raptors. “It was a rough start to the season for me last year and for our team. Obviously the way we’ve been playing, a lot is predicated on my health and being able to lead these guys out on the floor and not from the sidelines.”
LeBron certainly looks healthier than he did at this point last year. He’s moving much better and giving more effort.
But comparing November to November means very little for the Cavaliers, who hope to play deep into June.
The key question: Did LeBron properly time his injection? There’s a limit on the number he can have in a year, and it takes time to recover after one. Cleveland doesn’t want LeBron to peak to early.
It’s good for the Cavs that LeBron feels better now, but his health in the playoffs remains the priority.
Eric Bledsoe missed the Suns’ loss to the Spurs on Monday with a knee injury.
So, Phoenix is bringing in a reinforcement – Bryce Cotton.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
The Jazz waived Cotton before the season despite Dante Exum‘s injury leaving them with just two other healthy point guards. That says something about Cotton – but also Utah’s depth.
Cotton – who went undrafted out of Providence last year – is quick, varies his speed well and can leap. There’s reason to believe in his potential at age 23. But his 6-foot-1 frame limits him defensively, and he’s not much of a distributor.
Phoenix will rely on Brandon Knight and Ronnie Price at point guard if Bledsoe is unavailable. The Suns can also use fewer two-point guard lineups – giving more minutes at shooting guard to Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin and Sunny Weems.
Cotton provides insurance while Bledsoe is banged-up with what seems to be a minor injury. But he might have to show something to keep drawing an NBA paycheck once Bledsoe gets healthy.