There is a lot of trade chatter around the NBA, and Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Bucks is a name often mentioned. Not many find themselves as potential trade bait after a breakout year and contact extension, but then most don’t start off their season by getting into a bar fight. This is the story of a wasted year and the story of Larry Sanders.
Any time your name is followed by “bar fight” there is a good chance your immediate future isn’t very bright. This is precisely the predicament Sanders found himself in October of 2013. The worst part wasn’t the fight but that he injured himself and missed significant time. His stats have suffered and he has yet to get back to pre-bar fight Sanders mode.
Last year Sanders averaged 9.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks a game. This year all of his numbers are down at 7.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. However, with a new year brought an uptick in his January numbers, and so far in February Sanders has averaged 11.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and one block per game. Maybe it took longer than expected for his hand to fully heal and for him to gel with fellow big man John Henson. Of course, nothing this season has gone the Bucks’ way. Now this week Sanders suffered an eye injury (fractured orbital bone) that will keep him out through at least the All-Star game.
It’s been a tough year for the Bucks, and some of it has been self-inflicted while some is just bad luck. As the current face of the franchise, Sanders has led this disaster by example.
Verdict: Yes, this year was a total waste; however, as seen in February, the potential is still there. Let’s hope 2014-15 will be a new season for The Larry Sanders Show.
David is a NBA writer for Rant Sports. Follow David S. Grant on Twitter @david_s_grant.