Sanders, 26, authored an article for The Players' Tribune titled "Why I Walked Away From the NBA." In the article, Sanders explained why he decided to leave the NBA.
"I love basketball, and if I get to a point where I feel I'm capable of playing basketball again, I will," Sanders wrote. "I've had to make the difficult decision to follow my intuition, and allow myself the space and time to explore my true purpose in life."
Sanders was suspended for five games on April 4 for testing positive for marijuana. He said he used the drug to treat his anxiety. He averaged 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 27 games this season.
"Cannabis came later on in my life," Sanders said. "It was for me used medically for some of the symptoms that I was having due to a lot of stress and pressure I was under."
"Coming into the league you get dropped this large amount of money out of nowhere. People automatically change around you."
Sanders was drafted by the Bucks at No. 15 overall in the 2010 NBA draft.
Going to miss my Milwaukee fam or "fans". Love all of you. 😔— Nappy Gilmore ™ (@LarrySanders) February 23, 2015
"I know I disappeared for awhile," Sanders said. "People were wondering where I was. I entered into Rogers Memorial Hospital...in a program for anxiety and depression and mood disorders. It taught me a lot about myself. It taught me what's important and where I want to devote my time and energy. I love basketball. I'll always be playing basketball. But for it to be consuming so much of my life and time right now, it's not there for me. It's not that worth it."
Sanders earned $8,639,008 in four NBA seasons. He was due $11 million a year until 2018, before reaching a buyout with the Bucks.
"Happiness isn't behind a golden gate," Sanders said. "Happiness is really an internal thing."
"I wish I could have said goodbye formally to the Bucks at the Bradley Center. I want them to know that it was never about them. It was never about the fans or how they treated me because it was awesome."