A widespread stereotype is that most athletes are simply greedy young men seeking wealth and fame, but it seems this isn’t true for all of them.
26-year-old Larry Sanders, a now former professional basketball player and Milwaukee Buck was bought out of his four-year, $44 million dollar contract that he earned after a career season in 2012-2013. The forward and defensive phenom quit the NBA, citing reasons of depression and anxiety, among other mental health issues for his early.
Many would call this decision a head-scratcher, questioning how someone could just give up the money and fame and the opportunity to play a game for a living, but Sanders was glad to make the decision. He made the decision so that he could take care of himself and handle his problems, rather than having to deal with handling a basketball in front of thousands of fans who don’t know him or what he was going through every single night.
On top of the pressure, the fandom overwhelmed Sanders, making mean tweets and other such social media attacks even more destructive for his psyche.
In a YouTube video entitled, “Larry Sanders – Why I Walked Away From the NBA: Players’ POV,” Sanders explains why he left the Bucks, a team that had loved followed by a fan base that had supported the young athlete in both victory and defeat.
The stress of playing on basketball’s biggest stage was proving to be too much for him, causing him to seek treatment for his depression in 2014. At Rogers Memorial Hospital, Sanders was able to refocus on who he was and what was important to him. This changed mindset is what encouraged him to move forward on a new path, away from basketball and hopefully towards happiness for himself.
Sanders said that he still loves basketball and holds no animosity for the league or for his former team, but just simply wanted to do what was best for himself and his family. He left no hints as to if he shall return to the NBA, but Sanders knows that, at least for now, basketball will not be the definition of his life.