‘Marijuana and the NBA’


“Former NBA player Stephen Jackson says he occasionally smoked marijuana before playing in games.

“Jackson’s admission came on the “I Am Rapaport: Stereo Podcast” hosted by actor Michael Rapaport.

“I just gotta be real, you know, it’s been a couple games where I smoked before games and had great games,” Jackson said on the podcast, which was posted Friday. “It’s been some games where I smoked before the game and was on the bench after three minutes sitting on the sideline, ‘Please calm down. This high has to calm down’ — I done shot three shots that went over the backboard, like, I’m going to be honest, like, ‘Ahh, I gotta calm down.'”

Stephen Jackson (PHOTO -- Jed Jacobsohn - Getty Images)
Stephen Jackson (PHOTO — Jed Jacobsohn – Getty Images)

“Jackson also said on the podcast that Don Nelson, his coach while with the Golden State Warriors, knew that the forward smoked marijuana.

“We’re in Utah, and the [league’s] drug test people are around, you know, to get our last drug test so we can smoke, right? Don Nelson, we talked about weed all the time. He was cool with talking about weed. We got our last test in Utah, right? So me and [teammate] Baron [Davis] are coming out the locker room just screaming, excited with our last pink slip saying we could smoke for the rest of the season, and Don Nelson hauls ass down there giving us high-fives, like, ‘Yeah, we can smoke now!'” Jackson recalled. “It was cool, the fact that he knows what’s going on off the court with his players, which was great, man. We enjoyed it. That’s why we were a great team.”

“Jackson, 38, played for the Warriors for four seasons. He averaged 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game over his 14-year career…”

–‘Ex-NBA player Stephen Jackson says he smoked weed before games’,
ESPN.com, Jan. 31, 2017


FEATURE Image Above: ‘High Times’

Stephen Jackson, who last played in the NBA during the 2013-14 season for the Clippers. (PHOTO: Jesse D. Garrabrant - NBAE - Getty Images)
Stephen Jackson, who last played in the NBA during the 2013-14 season for the Clippers. (PHOTO: Jesse D. Garrabrant – NBAE – Getty Images)

“Listen, man, one thing about basketball, it’s no PEDs, no steroids, it’s nothing like that,” Jackson said on the podcast. “From my experience in the league, players that I’ve been around, guys don’t even really drink — some guys do drink, some guys don’t smoke. I think it’s a higher percentage of guys that smoke than drink. I know coming in, especially in my time, everybody smoked. After games, when I came into the league, there was only one drug test. And that was in the beginning of the season, in training camp. You knew when it was coming. You could smoke the rest of the season. That was the good days.”

“Jackson won an NBA championship with the 2002 San Antonio Spurs.

“A lot of guys do it because that’s the best way to relax,” Jackson said. “You take so much stuff to get up for the games, and guys don’t like taking all those pills and stuff to heal. Go home, smoke your blunt, man. You’ll sleep good….”

–‘Stephen Jackson smoked marijuana before NBA games, played high’,
Alex Butler, UPI, Jan. 31, 2017


Former Chicago Bulls guard and three-time Duke All-American Jay Williams.
Former Chicago Bulls guard and three-time Duke All-American Jay Williams.

“Former Chicago Bulls guard and three-time Duke All-American Jay Williams says it’s about time the NBA gets more progressive when it comes to marijuana.

“It’s easy for doctors to prescribe you ‘Oxycontin’ and look I was addicted to it for five plus years so I know,” Williams tells ‘FOXBusiness.com’. “But when you say marijuana you get a reaction, ahhh, it’s a gateway drug.”

“Williams estimates that 75 to 80% of athletes use marijuana in the NBA.

“You see pictures of guys in California going in and getting their medical marijuana cards. And I’m not just saying athletes, let’s talk about society. I know a lot of people that use it. It’s something that the whole world is becoming more progressive with. So it’s about time some of these entities do as well,” he adds.

Currently, 23 states have legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes, but the NBA prohibits any type of pot use. According to the ‘National Basketball Association’, and its anti-drug agreement, players are subject to four random tests throughout the season, and are conducted by an independent, third-party entity without prior notice to the athlete.

“If a player tests positive for marijuana and is convicted of the violation, he will be required to enter the ‘Marijuana Program’. A second offense will result in a $25,000 fine and the third will be a five-game suspension.

“I know so many athletes that play on ‘Percocet’. Have you ever taken Percocet by the way? It makes you way more groggy than rubbing cannabis oil into your skin,” adds Williams. “It’s demonized in society too. Oh, he’s a pot head. No, I actually just use cannabis oil because it helps with inflammation and takes away some anxiety.”

Cliff Robinson (Getty Images)
Cliff Robinson (Getty Images)

“Williams isn’t the only one speaking out about the positive effects of cannabis use. Former NBA player and UConn star Cliff Robinson is also an outspoken supporter of both the medicinal and stress-relieving benefits of the drug. The power forward was suspended twice for using marijuana during his tenure in the NBA and is now an advocate who plans to open up his own marijuana business called “Uncle Cliffy”.

“Robinson told the ‘Portland Business Journal’ in January that he wants to

“distill the stigma around cannabis and the misperception that athletes and cannabis are incompatible.”

“When you talk about guys playing at a professional level, there’s a lot of physical and mental stress that comes with that,” he said. “To have something available to you that has health benefits, I don’t see the issue with it myself.”

“FOXBusiness.com reached out to the ‘NBA Players Association’ and they declined to comment.

“Williams says the issue is still “taboo” for professional sports leagues because they’re still trying to position their brand in the best possible light.

“I’m not condoning for anyone under 18 to use cannabis or marijuana, but from a medical perspective, it’s about time some of these brands like the NBA and MLB become a little bit more progressive and start thinking forward instead of being held captive in the past.”

–‘Fmr NBA Player Jay Williams: 80% of Players Use Marijuana’
Jade Scipioni, FOXBusiness, March 16, 2016


(IMAGE: Getty - TMZ)
(IMAGE: Getty – TMZ)

“The NBA doesn’t test for cannabis in the offseason for a good reason, approximately 90% of the NBA’s players smoke cannabis on a regular basis.

“Joe Dumars described the NBA stoners’ love for cannabis best in a 1997 ‘NY Times’ interview:

“If they tested for pot, there would be no league”.

“While Steve Nash and his Canadian heritage made for the obvious choice, there’s also some truth to the “Nash smokes weed cause he’s Canadian” myth. A ‘Weedmaps’ source was at a club celebrating Jason Richardson’s birthday when Nash (playing in Phoenix with J-Rich and Amare at the time) suddenly turned to him. The club smelled like bud, so Nash asked him if he had a bowl. In astonishment, the source asked if he smoked.

“Nash’s response:

“I’m from Vancouver, bro.”

–‘The Dopest NBA Stoners in Basketball History’,
James Hsu, Third Monk



” I don’t think there’s any question that pot is better for your body than ‘Vicodin’…And yet, athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C,”
–Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr.

“By now, you’ve probably heard that last month former NFL player Kyle Turley rejected painkillers from his NFL club and turned instead to marijuana, after which the addictive fog of prior painkillers lifted and life changed for the better.

“You probably then heard about two weeks ago that current Buffalo Bills offensive linemen Seantrel Henderson received a 10-game suspension for his use of marijuana to relieve the chronic pain from ‘Crohn’s disease’, an inflammatory bowel malady. In January, 1-½ feet of his colon were removed and he later had surgery to reattach his intestines. During the interim, Henderson wore a dreaded ileostomy bag and lost 50 pounds.

“And days ago, you heard that Golden State Warriors Coach Steve Kerr admitted he took marijuana to mitigate the pain from two back surgeries.

“In all three cases, those in great pain chose to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. Anyone who has had chronic pain will understand it at a level the rest of us cannot. But solving and evolving pain management for those who suffer to kept us entertained is deeper than permission slips. Most fundamentally, those truly in pain should not have to suffer pain and punishment if medical science supports remedies that are still punished on outdated data points.

“This should sound familiar, like when the NFL used to deny the correlation between concussions and brain disease, now commonly known as ‘CTE’. If the NFL wants to be on the right side of player care this time, they need to retain and rely on top industry experts. The NFL did not do that with the concussion issue. Shamefully, their prior primary “expert” did not specialize in brain trauma. He unceremoniously retired earlier in 2016 after the medical science debunked his findings.

“The crux of the issue is not really whether cannabis is more effective than ‘Vicodin’ and other highly-addictive opiate pain killers dispensed by NFL clubs. The real problem for both the NFL and the NBA is fear that
(1) the players will go cannabis crazy, self-medicating themselves into oblivion and
(2) there will be severe reputational damage to the leagues as a haven for “potheads” which would
(3) bring lower attendance, lower ratings and reduced revenue from media rights contracts.”

–‘The Science That Justifies Marijuana In The NFL And NBA’,
Roger Groves, Forbes.com, Dec 6, 2016


Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham - Getty Images)
Head coach Steve Kerr of the Golden State Warriors. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham – Getty Images)

“The legal use of marijuana, whether it be medicinally or recreationally, is gaining steam in the NBA.

“First, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted last week to using legally-prescribed marijuana during his recovery from a 2015 back surgery, questioning how a league could encourage prescription painkiller use for players healing from injury while listing marijuana among its banned substances.

“Now, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson has followed Kerr’s admission with tales of recreational marijuana use during his own recovery from back surgery as a player in 1969, suggesting the recent legalization of cannabis in several states will force the NBA to address a rule now in conflict with law.

“In an appearance on ‘CBS Sports Network’s “We Need to Talk” on Tuesday, during which he touched on several subjects, including a non-apology for his controversial “posse” remarks on LeBron James, Jackson was asked about Kerr’s recent comments on marijuana. This was his response, in its entirety:

“I don’t know about its medicinal ability. I know that when I had back surgery, the year I was off I was smoking marijuana during that period of time. I think it was a distraction for me as much as a pain reliever, but I never thought of it as ultimately a pain medication for that type of situation. I know for ocular things, stomach digestive issues and other things I think it is regarded quite highly.

“We’re in a situation that’s in flux. We have states — Washington, D.C., Colorado — that have legalized marijuana. Those are going to raise issues. We also have a testing regiment that we go through in the NBA, so we’re kind of in conflict with what is going to be the law. I see that as a decision that’s — I don’t know if we can equate it to gay marriage or whatever else — but it’s a decision that’s going to be made by our population at some point. They’re going to come out and make that decision for us, I think, instead of legislators trying to make the decision.

“I think we’ve tried to stop it in the NBA. I don’t think we’ve been able to stop it. I think it still goes on and is still a part of their culture in the NBA, and I think it’s something we either have to accommodate or we have to figure out another way to deal with it.”

Phil Jackson
Phil Jackson

“As others have noted, Jackson already discussed his 1960s and ’70s marijuana and LSD use in both his 1975 autobiography, “Maverick,” and 2001 biography, “Mindgames: Phil Jackson’s Long Strange Journey”, weighing perceived mind-altering benefits of such substances against the inherent dangers…

“In 1997, when Jackson and Kerr’s Chicago Bulls were in the midst of winning six titles, the ‘New York Times’ famously reported roughly 60-70% of the league smoked marijuana,
and that number may be higher now, if Jay Williams’ 75-80% estimate this past May is accurate. In other words, marijuana is not a new issue for the NBA…

“However, the league did not expect in mid-November to drastically alter its policy in the forthcoming 2016 ‘CBA’, according to ‘The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor. This despite eight teams (Boston Celtics, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards) playing in cities with legalized recreational marijuana and an additional 12 (Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors) in states with legalized medical marijuana. That’s two-thirds of the NBA…

“Jackson suggested there was a tipping point for the NBA once enough of the population voted in favor of legalized marijuana, and you have to wonder — now that two-thirds of the league’s teams play in cities that have passed some form of it into law and an estimated three-quarters of its players use the substance — whether we’ve surpassed that tipping point. Maybe they should put it up for a vote…”

–‘The NBA is reaching a tipping point in the debate over legalized marijuana’,
Ben Rohrbach, Yahoo! Sports, 7 December, 2016

See also:
NBA Hypocrisy{August 1, 2016}:

INSIDE SPORTS, NBA Hypocrisy, 800x800

NBA Playing Dirty Politics {July 24, 2016}:

INSIDE SPORTS, NBA Playing Dirty Politics, 800x800

How TV shamefully idealizes ‘selfish’, ‘dangerous’ basketball{May 2, 2015}:
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