Larry Sanders punched Mike Dunleavy while teammates in 2012-13

15 Comments

The first year of Larry Sanders’ four-year, $44  million contract extension with the Bucks went really, really horribly.

Who would have seen that coming?

Well, the Bucks probably should have.

Sanders nearly came to blows with Monta Ellis during the playoffs, which could have been chalked up to an isolated moment of frustration – except it wasn’t Sanders’ first such incident with a teammate.

Gery Woelfel of The Journal Times on Sports Radio 1250 (hat tip: KL Chouinard of Bucksketball):

It’s one thing to make comments behind closed doors about guys if you’re a player. But when you physically hit them, that’s quite another thing. And everybody knows about the Monta Ellis incident. Earlier that same season — which didn’t go reported until I found out last season, if that makes sense  – was that early in that season, he and Mike Dunleavy had a confrontation. Dunleavy was sitting in front of his stall. After a game, they were talking about sharing the ball blah blah, and Sanders walks over and says ‘hellooo.’ Clocks him.

In December, Woelfel wrote Sanders punched a teammate but didn’t specify it was Dunleavy. Apparently, Dunleavy – now with the Bulls – said a year ago he was on the receiving end of the punch, but nobody really reported on it.

https://twitter.com/JimOwczarski/status/476030766984355840

Anyway, we know now, but the Bucks obviously knew then – and they still paid him all that money. What did they think would happen? The salary increase would make him more grounded?

Sanders is just 25, and there’s still time for him to mature. It would be foolish to write him off forever.

At his best, he’s an elite defender and shot-blocker who finishes well on the other end. Centers are always a commodity, especially ones with his potential.

But at some point, he must restrain himself if he’s ever going to meet that potential.