Larry Sanders’ thin wardrobe actually helped him make his NBA return earlier than expected.
Don’t worry, we can explain.
The Cleveland Cavaliers signed Sanders on Monday, ending the 28-year-old’s two-year absence from the league. As you can imagine, they didn’t necessarily want to rush a guy who hasn’t played an NBA game since December 2014. So, the plan was to send him to the D-League for a spell.
But things didn’t exactly unfold that way. From Cleveland.com:
“Before the game, both (head coach Tyronn) Lue and (general manager David) Griffin made it clear that Sanders was heading for the D-League to get in shape and get back to playing pro ball for a period of days before he really joins the Cavs. He was going to sit on the bench Tuesday and Thursday for Cleveland’s home games in uniform, Lue said, because Sanders didn’t have a suit jacket with him.”
That meant Sanders was on the bench and dressed for Cleveland’s Tuesday night game against the Detroit Pistons — which happened to turn into a 128-96 Cavs blowout.
With Cleveland milking a huge lead down the stretch, Lue decided to give Sanders some run. But things got weirder still, as Lue had to send a ball boy into the stands to find Griffin and ask him if Lue could put Sanders in the game.
“I had to get permission,” Lue said. “I really just wanted to introduce him to the crowd and have him get in, give him a chance to have a standing ovation. I thought it was good for him.”
Sanders finished with zero points and two fouls in two minutes. But he’s probably glad he didn’t buy a suit jacket.
Thumbnail photo via Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports Images