Milwaukee Bucks’ center Larry Sanders was suspended this week by the National Basketball Association for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. His suspension is just five games but Sanders’ comments afterwards will last much longer.
Sanders was suspended for marijuana use and he made no excuses about it at all. In fact, he went so far as to advocate for it.
“It’s something I feel strongly about, just to let you know something personal about me,” Sanders said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel before the Bucks’ 102-90 loss at Chicago. “I will deal with the consequences from it.
While Sanders will probably be admonished for his open views, he actually raises issues that will continue to grow in the NBA and across professional and collegiate sports. Many professional football players have advocated for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes because they claim it helps with their aches and pains as well as relief from headaches which of course is a major issue.
I believe we are a long ways off from marijuana being allowed by any of the professional sports leagues in any form if at all, but the discussion as clearly been started. If scientific evidence can prove that marijuana can in fact do great things for professional athletes besides giving them a nice high, then perhaps it will be allowed.
The problem will be acceptance and availability to all members of the sport because there’s no question some will view it as a performance-enhancing drug. I know I’m not ready to go there just yet.
Tiger is not ‘back’
I’ve been as hard as anyone on Tiger Woods in recent years and I won’t back off on much of it. I think he’s a guy who would really love to be more open than he is but his father trained him so well to keep things inside and keep only a small circles of friends that he has never been able to break it. Some would say that mentality has allowed him to win the 14 majors he has while others might say it has kept him from being who he is really is.
One of the things I’ve been hardest on him for is his penchant for withdrawing from tournaments. If you look at his seven WDs in his career, most have happened in the last few years and none of them ever happened when he was in contention.
I ripped him hard for his recent WD down in Florida and I’ll stand by that. If you’re going to win the US Open on a busted up leg then why can’t you hang in and finish a tournament with a ‘sore back?’
Woods announced on Tuesday that he would be missing the Masters’ Tournament this year due to recent surgery for a persistently pinched nerve. Do I feel bad that ripped Woods when he in fact did have medical issues? No I do not because no one dramatizes his physical ailments more than Woods does. It’s like he’s taken a page from the Michael Jordan “play through the flu game” only this time he hasn’t been able to see it all the way through.
At this point, Woods stands four major tournament wins short of Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18. Woods has always said this is the only record that has mattered to him and that the only way you could rank the greatest players in golf was by the number of majors’ won.
I suggest he find his health and as well as his true personality before he makes one final push for the record.