Former NBA big man and current BIG 3 player, Larry Sanders was incredibly honest on this week’s episode of the Scoop B Radio Podcast. Sanders discussed the NBA’s MVP race between Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and Milwaukee Bucks swiss army knife forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.
During his playing career, Skiles was the NBA’s Most Improved Player in 1991.
Worth noting: Skiles once set an NBA record for the most assists in a game with 30.
The Michigan State product would later become the Orlando Magic’s 12th head coach after stints coaching the Chicago Bulls, Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns.
Sanders asserts that Skiles had issues with black players on his bench.
Transcript from our conversation on Scoop B Radio below:
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Scoop B Radio on the line with Larry Sanders. What’s the one thing if you could go back in time in your career stat-wise, relationship-wise, whatever your pick that you could change in life. What would it be and why?
Larry Sanders: [pausing]
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: He’s not thinking. He’s thinking, thinking!
Larry Sanders: I don’t know honestly. I wouldn’t change anything really. I had a great career. The game was easy, like at every level. Especially when I turned 16. By the time I became a senior, three years in, I already knew I was done on this level. In college, two years in – I’m done with this level. In the three years with the NBA, I slid through there. I felt like I dominated. In any game I wanted to play – no matter who I played against, I was going to be the best player on that court and that’s it. I don’t think there’s a higher level that’s close to basketball. But my career? I made a lot of money. I was able to create more money building dreams and visions I had before I played basketball. So I wouldn’t change anything man. I really wouldn’t – I mean Scott Skiles was like – but…
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: It’s funny that you mention Scott Skiles. I remember playing with him on NBA Jam when he was on the Orlando Magic with Nick Anderson –
Larry Sanders: Was Shaq on there too?
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Yeah
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: Why was Scott Skiles such a hard person for certain people to get along with?
Larry Sanders: I gotta call it what it is. Scott doesn’t like black people. I don’t know if someone did something to his mom, someone took his dad’s job, I don’t know man. Scott’s got a thing – he targets people. And since I was a rookie, I knew I was gonna get it. But I think – Scott is scarred. Scott has been through some stuff. His upbringing. You know how you’re personable? He’s not real talkative, and I mean that’s not a problem but, a lot of times love and affection is hard to give and I think that hinders a coach and I think that kind of washes them out because if they’re not able to be personable, they’re not given the respect and understanding…
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: No that’s real…
Larry Sanders: I had some great coaches. I had Shaka Smart (VCU), I had Anthony Grant (now at Dayton), a great high school coach, a really great AAU coach…I was really blessed to have some top-notch coaching in my life you know? Then to the NBA and have Skiles, he wasn’t a coach. He was more like a boss. It was like, I don’t know – but he wasn’t like a coach.
Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson: No that’s real. I remember reading in the papers here that Brandon Jennings had issues, I didn’t realize you and him had issues like that but it seems there was always some level of ‘creative differences,’ I’ll say in his stints in Chicago, Milwaukee and Orlando.
Larry Sanders: For sure, for sure. I was quiet. I was younger you know, I saw him get to a lot of the vets. Keyon [Dooling] writes about him in his book [What’s Driving You?] because Keyon went through a lot after that, and Drew [Gooden], you know, just the older guys. Samuel Dalembert, all the vets. And me being a rookie, by the time I was ready to have my breakout year, he was on the way out because he knew I was ready to flip s**t. I was ready to flip s**t man [laughs]… I was ready to return the hell that they gave – yeah, so, they got him outta here.