Time to retire

Milwaukee Bucks centre Larry Sanders (L) scores on Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes (C) and Los Angeles Clippers centre DeAndre Jordan (R) in the first half of the NBA basketball game between the LA Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, 13 Dec 2014. - EPA

In this past few weeks, I have read several news reports on sportsmen who retired from their respective sports for different reasons. 

Most people probably had dreams of becoming a footballer, tennis player, golfer or any other athlete so that they could enjoy fame and fortune.  

But here, we have athletes turning down the money and the fame because they wanted to do something else.    

Basketball player Larry Sanders, 26, quite the NBA a few months ago to “discover the true purpose of his life”.     

The former Milwaukee Bucks player admitted that he had been struggling with mental issues and agreed to a buy-out with the team after the trade deadline. 

He had a lot of issues on and off the court and even underwent treatment for depression, anxiety and a mood disorder. 

Sanders ultimately made around US$31mil in NBA salary when you include his buy-out. 

This was a person who grew up with nothing but suddenly living the great life.

He said that a large money came out of nowhere and he became an “ATM” to some people. 

“I’m incredibly grateful to have had the chance to play in the NBA. But at the same time, that’s not what fuels me. I’ve never chased money. It’s never been how I define success. Happiness isn’t behind a golden gate,” he said. 

Then there was the case of Torquay United goalkeeper Jordan Seabright who quit football to become a car salesman in his home town of Poole. 

Seabright, 20, admitted that he wasn’t good enough and that he just fell out of love with the game.  

"I have to think about myself, I want to be successful and I didn't see myself doing that in football … I didn't see myself being a Championship 'keeper or Premier League goalkeeper or League One to be honest,” he said. 

At least he was honest enough to admit that he was not likely to go anyway in his career. 

American football lineback Jason Worilds retired from the Pittsburgh Steelers because he wanted to concentrate on religious work with Jehovah's Witnesses. 

The 27-year-old was estimated to have earned about US$13mil in his five-year career and could have made tons more if he signed a long-term contract. 

I guess after a while, that game just becomes a job that pays for the bills and in some athletes’ cases, their Ferraris. 

It probably gets to a point where it is more than just the money. It is about passion and if those athletes felt it was lacking, it was a good move to quit. 

I on the other hand, am still dreaming of playing football at Anfield. One day perhaps!

> The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own. 


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Larry Sanders , retire , athletes


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