We don’t usually like shilling for individual team tickets here at Ball Don’t Lie – I swear – but this is a cool promotion that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Milwaukee Bucks big man Larry Sanders was recently signed to a four-year, $44 million extension, big money for a player that didn’t average double-figure points or rebounds last year, but a gem of a deal in the eyes of the NBA’s advanced statistics community.
As a gift back to the community, the Bucks and Sanders both announced this deal to their fans on Tuesday:
The Milwaukee Bucks have made a commitment to Larry to keep the big man in Milwaukee through 2018, and now Sanders is making a big pledge in return to show his appreciation to the city that has supported him and the organization that guided him as youth. For every full season ticket that is purchased for the 2013-14 season between now and September 3rd, Sanders will purchase an upper level season ticket for the Boys and Girls Club of Milwaukee.
OK, yes, you still do have to buy a season ticket in order for the new $44 million man to award a season ticket to the Boys and Girls Club, but that’s still a sound fan/player/youth center partnership for a man that wants to be part of the community for the next half-decade at least (Sanders still has one year left on his rookie contract). And we don’t need to tell you how much the prospect of a trip to an NBA game could motivate or influence a member of the Boys and Girls Club.
Sanders has had his uneasy headlines before, be they goofy (like the revelation of his misspelled tattoo) or worrying (his significant on-court issues with technical fouls and fines), but this is a winner. And a move that perhaps other players of Sanders’ ilk (guys entering lucrative second contracts, playing in cities where good seats are often still available) should emulate.
In on-court news, it appears new Bucks coach Larry Drew has already told Sanders that he has to do something about the rash of technical fouls he received last year. Not so much because of the fines and whistles that add up, but because the Milwaukee coach doesn't want one of the league's best defenders spending his time kvetching with refs instead of getting back on defense.
"I know coach hates it when you talk to the ref. I know he hates that. I've heard him say it already. Those are wrinkles that are getting ironed out. I'm sure he's not going to hold his tongue so I'll just let him talk to the ref."
"When I took the job, one of the first things he and I did, we went out to dinner and sat and talked," Drew said. "We were very candid. And he recognized that's something he has to get better at.
"And that's something I'm going to expect him to get better at. You talk about accountability. For me, it's one of my pet peeves when you talk about transition defense and while you're squabbling with the official the other team is running at you and you're putting your team at a disadvantage. That's not acceptable."
Sounds like progress has been made. Operators are standing by, Milwaukee.