Former Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Anthony Goldwire, who was with the team last season under former head coach Scott Skiles, recently called out center Larry Sanders for being too inconsistent on the court the past few years. He also pointed the finger at Sanders for being one of the main reasons the locker room morale was at a low.
“Last year, and the year before that, Larry didn’t come to play every night, some nights he took off,” Goldwire said, according to TalkinHoops.com. “Some guys felt like he didn’t have the right to speak. Now, once you get in the playoffs, now you feel like you want to talk.”
Goldwire is referring to the incident after Milwaukee’s Game 3 playoff loss to the Miami Heat. Sanders’ frustration boiled over which forced him to give a speech in the locker room in an attempt to inspire his team.
“We need to start playing together as a team and stop worrying about next year,” Sanders said according to a CBSSports source. “We need to stop being selfish and start worrying about right now.”
Monta Ellis, who was a free agent after the season, took what Sanders said personally and engaged in a verbal battle. The two had to be separated by a teammate.
Many fans in Milwaukee were happy to learn what Sanders did because it was clear some of the players were not performing up to their ability. It was as if certain players believed the team stood no chance against the Heat and gave up before the final bell. However, Sanders is an intense person who does not like to lose. For that reason, the Bucks are thrilled to have someone like him be the face of the franchise going forward.
Sanders is definitely not the most consistent player in the NBA, and he most certainly has quite the temper. However, he is still learning how to be a dominant player, something that it is obvious he could turn in to. Not to mention, there is nothing wrong with having a little fire and being passionate about the game, especially since Milwaukee has not had a player like that in quite some time.
Former coaches and players can say whatever they want about what happened in the past. There is no denying the team was a complete mess, which is why there was an overhaul this offseason. However, fans do not want to hear people make excuses, especially when they were a part of the problem.
Going forward, Sanders will definitely have to step his game up to a level that he has never been at before. The good news is many believe he is the man that can handle the pressure.