UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
Point Forward

Bucks' Gary Neal, Larry Sanders engage in locker room argument after loss to Suns

(Gary Dineen/Getty Images)Larry Sanders is averaging 7.1 points and 6.1 rebounds this season. (Gary Dineen/Getty Images)

Bucks guard Gary Neal and center Larry Sanders exchanged words during a locker-room argument following Milwaukee's  116-100 road loss to Phoenix on Saturday.

In a rare public expression of teammate-on-teammate frustration, Neal took a dig at Sanders' work ethic and salary, according to the Arizona Republic.

Gary Neal and Larry Sanders got into a shouting match with media present. At one point, Neal yelled, “I earn my money. Why don’t you try it?”

The Journal-Sentinel also reported the exchange, noting that Sanders "questioned Neal's attitude" and that guard O. J. Mayo tried to downplay the exchange.

Neal was yelling loudly as he exited the locker room and Sanders would not comment on the argument as he exited. Earlier Bucks strength and conditioning coach Robert Hackett stepped between the two players to try to keep the situation from escalating.

...

Bucks guard O.J. Mayo later said, "A little team bonding, man, that's all. A little kumbaya, man. It's all good."

Milwaukee committed a season-high 26 turnovers, losing for the fifth time in their last six games, and neither player enjoyed much individual success. Neal finished with nine points (on 3-for-8 shooting), one rebound and one assist in 18 minutes off the bench. Sanders tallied seven points (on 3-for-5 shooting), two rebounds and one block, while registering a team-worst minus-26 in 26 minutes.

Neal, 29, signed a two-year, $6.5 million contract with the Bucks in July after spending the three previous seasons with the Spurs. The journeyman guard, who went undrafted out of Towson and played in Turkey, Spain and Italy before sticking in San Antonio, is averaging 10.4 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game this season.

Sanders, 25, inked a four-year, $44 million rookie contract extension in August, and hasn't been able to escape the negative headlines since. In October, Sanders’ former agent sued his current representation for alleged client poaching prior to Sanders’ new deal. In November, Sanders and new Bucks coach Larry Drew reportedly didn't see eye-to-eye about Sanders' role.

Shortly after that news broke, Sanders was involved in a late-night nightclub incident which left him with a torn ligament in his thumb. Sanders was later cited by police for his role in the incident, which allegedly involved throwing champagne bottles, and previous animal cruelty charges against Sanders also came to light.

The thumb injury required surgery, costing Sanders 25 games, and he returned to the court on Dec. 27. The fourth-year center is averaging 7.1 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game, and Milwaukee is 1-4 since his return.

After signing his new contract, Sanders acknowledged that he was being entrusted with a leadership role on a rebuilt Bucks team, and he said that he looked forward to “represent[ing] Milwaukee” for the duration of his new deal.

“Can’t believe I’ve been granted this opportunity to represent Milwaukee for the next five years and hopefully the rest of my career,” Sanders wrote on Instagram. “Words can not explain my gratitude for the Bucks organization and the faith in me as a leader and a worker. I won’t let you down Mil-town.”

Back in early December, Sanders was named to The Point Forward's Eastern Conference All-Letdown Team.

Milwaukee's 7-26 record marks the worst in the NBA.

More Point Forward

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again