Stephen Jackson recently came clean about using marijuana throughout his career as a journeyman for the NBA. The NBA drug tests its players, but Jackson made it out of the league without ever being busted for weed. In fact, he admits to even smoking before games. Since retiring, he’s free from repercussions and decided to share his story with the public.
The NBA baller gave Michael Rapaport the full details on his love for the herb during a podcast interview. Jackson has been smoking since he was 12 or 13 years old. He admits it made some games great and hindered his performance other times.
Smoking In The NBA
Jackson isn’t the first person to speak on marijuana use in the NBA. In fact, former NBA player Jay Williams once said that 75 to 80% of all NBA players smoke weed.
The NBA Warrior’s coach Steve Kerr recently advocated for marijuana use in professional sports.
“… I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you got a lot of pain, 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 like it’s no big deal,” Kerr said.
It is a problem, though. Kerr is pointing to cannabis as a cure for the opioid epidemic currently facing the United States. Opioid abuse has more than quadrupled since 1999.
Jackson On Getting High Before Games
“I just gotta be real, you know it’s been a couple of games where I smoked before games and had great games,” Jackson told Rapaport on his podcast: I Am Rapaport.
“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, ‘Ah, I gotta calm down,'” he added.
One of his coaches even supported his smoking habit. Coach Don Nelson knew Stephen was smoking during his two years with the Golden State Warriors. Coach Nelson, much like current Warriors coach Steve Kerr, is down with smoking weed.
Jackson told a story about him, coach Nelson and ex-Knicks guard Baron Davis:
“We’re in Utah, and the drug test people are around, you know, to get our last drug test, so we can smoke, right? And 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 Baron are coming out the locker room just screaming, excited, right, 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!’ It was cool, the fact that he knows what’s going on off court with his players, which was great, man. We enjoyed it. And that’s why we were a great team.”
During his 14-year career he was suspended but never for weed. He’s infamous for taking part in the Pacers-Pistons brawl of 2004 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan.