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Larry Sanders will use suspension to deal with issues, kick marijuana habit, according to somebody who isn't Larry Sanders

Somebody is saying the right things, sort of.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

According to sources cited by Yahoo Sports NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, Larry Sanders is determined to return to the game of basketball, and will use his 10-day suspension as an opportunity to deal with his personal issues and "learn to live without marijuana use."

Let's just get this out of the way immediately: it's one thing to cite "league sources" when discussing a second-round pick that may or may not be traded from Portland to Memphis, or a team's insistence that they'll match an offer sheet on a marginal restricted free agent. It is quite another to cite an anonymous source who claims to know the personal feelings of a player, or who suggests that a player's "personal issues" can be cured by a little extra soul-searching over a multi-week period. Sanders' agent, the Bucks, and everyone else for that matter would like to see that happen, but just saying it won't make it so.

It's entirely plausible Sanders is really trying to make a change in his life for the better during his time off -- his troubles are more well-documented than anyone would like, and we'd all be happy to see him get right mentally and physically. But if this is a mental health issue, or a question of making a real lifestyle change, it's not getting "fixed" in a CBA-delineated time period. It will take a concerted and ongoing effort on Sanders' part over many years, and perhaps the rest of his life, as well as strong support from the Milwaukee Bucks' organization and any relevant NBA programs.

Certainly, anyone would hope that a second drug-related suspension would serve as firm notice that his career as a professional basketball player is in jeopardy if he can't kick his drug habit. Shifting attitudes toward marijuana usage are one thing, but the NBA's policy is absolute. As long as he continues to act as he has in the past, Sanders will have to face the consequences. Failure to adjust his behavior accordingly at this point seems almost certain to end his career in the NBA.

The trust issues between Sanders and the Bucks are a real concern at this point. If Larry is able to put his troubles behind him and work hard to rebuild that trust, he could still be a valuable member of the team, and perhaps even a leader, as he once wanted. But that means learning from his mistakes and resolving to prevent them in the future. That resolve has to come from him, not an anonymous source.