NBA players smoke weed. Yes, it’s against the rules, the league does test for it, and a number of players have been suspended, or even pushed out of the Association for failing urine tests - but still, some players estimate that over half the league is lighting up.
Enter Stephen Jackson, a retired baller and current analyst at ESPN. Jackson went on the “I Am Rapaport” podcast hosted by actor and occasional ESPN talking-head Michael Rapaport, where Jackson let slip that during his playing years, it wasn’t uncommon for him to spark up right before games.
"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. "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.'"
It’s still not exactly clear where or at what point before the game Stack Jack would roll up, but he did tell Rapaport a story about his days with the “We Believe” era Golden State Warriors, when (way before the Splash Brothers, Kevin Durant and a championship ring) the team from Oakland was a scrappy team smoking their way to a first-round playoff upset of the then-dominant Dallas Mavericks squad.
"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 said. "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 is the first ex-NBA athlete to admit to being stoned while playing, but we wouldn’t be surprised if a few more players joined him on that list soon...we’re looking at you ‘Sheed.