FACE THE MUSIC I was an NBA first-round pick and earned $30.5m – I chose to retire early and now do a very different job

LARRY Sanders cut short his NBA career at the age of just 26.

The former Milwaukee Bucks star, 35, has since worked as a music producer and fashion designer.

Larry Sanders retired from the NBA at the age of just 26

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Larry Sanders retired from the NBA at the age of just 26Credit: Getty
He has since gone on to have a very different career

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He has since gone on to have a very different careerCredit: Getty

A former first-round pick, Sanders initially retired from the league in 2015 before a brief return two years later.

He twice violated the league’s drug policy for smoking marijuana and was bought out of his contract by the Bucks.

Sanders has since revealed he left basketball behind primarily to work on his mental health, per PEOPLE.

Following his retirement, he opened up about the anxiety he felt during his career.

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Sanders told No Chill with Gilbert Arenas: “I fell in love with the basketball culture, I was adopted by it.

“I was tall, I was fast, you know, I had these attributes that were attractive and fit into the game. But a lot of it, it didn’t resonate with my soul, honestly.

“[In the NBA] I didn’t feel like a human, I felt more like a product in a lot of ways and very disposable. It weighed on my mental health.”

Within a year of his retirement, Sanders had helped produce tracks on PARTYNEXTDOOR’s album P3.

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He then headed into the world of fashion, forming a company named Citizens Of Matter.

Sanders explained to Forbes in 2021: “[Citizens of Matter] was an artist incubator at first.

“But then we started to move into fashion and I started to meet all of these people in this world with a company called ‘Hunt’s City.’

“We initially developed jeans for men with a taller build. Then it sort of molded into an everybody brand. Now we’re making stuff for everybody and every size.”

Per Forbes, the 35-year-old also works for a company called Click, which produces marijuana spray.

Sanders was selected as the No. 15 overall pick by the Bucks in the 2010 NBA Draft.

A college star with the Virginia Commonwealth University Rams, the Florida native was a two-time CAA Defensive Player of the Year.

He departed VCU as a junior and signed a multi-year, rookie-scaled contract with the Bucks.

Sanders started 113 NBA games in his career, averaging 6.4 points per contest, as well as 5.7 rebounds and 1.8 blocks.

Following a career year in 2013, Sanders signed a four-season, $44 million contract extension.

He was bought out of the deal by the Bucks in 2015 after receiving a second NBA suspension for marijuana use, per USA Today.

Sanders briefly made a comeback in 2017 for the Cleveland Cavaliers, appearing in five games.

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He has earned $30,548,133 in total since entering the NBA thirteen years ago, per Spotrac,

That figure includes four years of $1.8 million deferred payments paid by Milwaukee to Sanders following his retirement.

The former Bucks defensive star was bought out of his contract in 2015

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The former Bucks defensive star was bought out of his contract in 2015Credit: Getty

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