Larry Sanders' recent decision to step away from the NBA - agreeing to a buyout with the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this month - came on the back on rumors and speculation about the 26-year-old's current situation.
After having served two suspensions in recent seasons for violating the NBA's drug policy there were some who criticized Sanders' lack of enthusiasm to make it at the top.
His side of the story
The player himself though has today put forward his side of the story via a frank and honest video with The Players Tribune. In it he reveals that a recent spell away from the Bucks organization back in December 2014 was in order to seek medical help for psychological issues.
You can watch the video further down this article.
According to Sanders, he entered himself into a program at a Rogers Memorial Hospital which was for "anxiety, depression, mood disorders."
A new perspective
Sanders speaks openly about his current state of mind, and the issues he was dealing with that led to him calling time on his NBA career. While admitting that the pressures brought bout by the pro game, and the money it brings, placed significant strain on him, Sanders refused to rule out returning to the game at some point down the line.
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Here is the five-minute video in full:
Not your typical NBA player
Throughout his time in the league Larry Sanders couldn't be described as your typical NBA player and his point-of-view piece offers us a previously unseen view into his mind.
"It taught me a lot about myself. It taught me a lot about what's important and where will want to devote my time and energy," Said Sanders on his recent visit to Rogers Memorial Hospital.
His piece to camera puts into perspective exactly what athletes go through on a day to day basis and will, hopefully, leave fans with a new found respect for Sanders, and many other players whom they are quick to criticize.
"Coming into the league, you get dropped this large amount of money out of nowhere and people automatically change around you."
"That just happens. You become an ATM to some people. You have to be correct in your statements. You have to state things a certain way. You give up your freedom of speech for real. You really can't say how you feel."
The now-ex Bucks player also explained his recent trials and tribulations with marijuana.
Sanders was most recently suspended for 10 games in January for a failed drugs test but, in the video above, he explained that his relationship with weed was for medical use.
"Cannabis came later on in my life," Sanders said. "It was, for me, used medically for some of the symptoms that I was having due to a lot of stress and pressure I was under given my work."
The decision to speak out in such a public manner on issues which clearly remain difficult for him is a brave move by Sanders. Hopefully NBA fans will take the time to check out what he has to say - as well as offering hope that he can find peace in the near future.
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