ST. FRANCIS, Wis. — Speaking publicly for the first time since being involved in an altercation at a local nightclub, Milwaukee Bucks center Larry Sanders issued a statement after practice Friday.
Sanders, who called a meeting to apologize to his teammates earlier in the day, didn’t take any questions from the media.
“I want to start by saying I put myself in a bad situation over the weekend. I didn’t make the best decisions down the stretch,” Sanders said. “I’d like to apologize to my fans here, Senator Kohl, who I will talk to directly. I’ve talked to the team and apologized to them just for shedding negative light on our team, on our organization. That’s not what we are about at all, that’s not who we are, that’s not what we stand for.
“I offer my apologies to everyone, but especially the fans. I know they put a lot on me and they count on me a lot. For everyone I let down, I’m going to get better, I’m going to be better, I’m going to get better at this on and off the court. I’m going to come back better. I just thank everyone for their concerns and for being patient with me.”
After reviewing the incident, the district attorney’s office determined numerous people, including Sanders, were involved in an altercation at the Apartment 720 club during the early morning hours of Nov. 3.
But police were unable to determine how the altercation started and who initiated it and decided Thursday not to issue criminal charges. The district attorney’s office has referred the case back to the Milwaukee Police Department to determine if any municipal citations will be issued.
A day after reiterating he wants to take an active role in Sanders’ development both on and off the court, Bucks coach Larry Drew revealed will meet with his starting center on a weekly basis just to talk.
“I was pretty candid with him about the situation,” Drew said. “He was very remorseful about what happen and understands that it all starts with not putting himself in that situation. First of all, Larry is a good person. He’s a good individual, he’s a good human being.
“It’s just unfortunate that he’s had some issues in which he would be the first to admit that those are areas he has to get better. I want to try to help him get better. I want to try to do what I can do to help him.
“I can see he’s trying to do right, and he wants to do right. He doesn’t want to put himself in those types of situations. As I’ve said before, I’ll be there for him. I’m 24-7 when it comes to helping any of my players. My door is always open, my phone is always on.”
Sanders did not practice Friday due to a sprained right thumb the team says was suffered during last Saturday’s loss to Toronto. His status for Saturday’s game against Dallas is still up in the air.
Drew said Sanders will be a game-time decision, as he’s still wearing a splint on his thumb. The Bucks are trying to find a method of taping that allows Sanders to still play. Through three games, Sanders is averaging just 2.7 points and 3.7 rebounds.
“He has to be able to catch a ball, hold a ball, grip a ball before he’s cleared,” Drew said. “We’ll see how he is tomorrow. If he’s able to play we’ll have him out there.”