Former NBA star Stephen Jackson, who played 14 seasons with teams like the Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors, just to name a few, recently revealed that he was stoned during a lot of the games.
Appearing on actor Michael Rapaport’s podcast I Am Rapaport, Jackson said that not only did he smoke marijuana before hitting the court, but he also went on to say being high was absolutely copasetic with former Warriors coach Don Nelson.
“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 [teammate] Baron [Davis] 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 the court with his players, which was great, man. We enjoyed it. And that’s why we were a great team.”
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At this point in the interview, Rapaport began digging deeper into Jackson’s old school story bank to get a feel for how extensive marijuana use is in the NBA.
“Listen, man, one thing about basketball, it’s no PEDs, no steroids, it’s nothing like that,” Jackson explained. “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.
“A lot of guys do it because that’s the best way to relax,” he added. “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.”
But when it came to smoking weed before the games, Jackson admits that it was a crapshoot with respect to how well he might produce on the court.
“I can’t speak for nobody else,” Jackson said. “Me personally, I’ve done a lot of shit before games sometimes and still was out there to go out there and be productive. I just gotta be real, you know, it’s been a couple games where I smoked before games and had great games. It’s been some games where I smoked before the game and was on the bench after three minutes, sitting on the sideline, saying, ‘Please calm down, this high has to calm down.’ I done shot three shots that went over the backboard.”
According to ESPN, Jackson averaged 15.1 points per game throughout his professional career. His shining moment was when he was traded by the Pacers to the Warriors during the 2006-07 season and assisted in the upset against the Dallas Mavericks in round one of the playoffs.
Marijuana is banned in the NBA, even for medicinal purposes. The rules of the collective bargaining agreement indicate that players can be tested up six times per year.