Stephen Jackson, Former NBA Player, Admits to Smoking Pot Before Games

By McCarton Ackerman 02/02/17

Jackson claims his coach was well aware of his pot use.

Stephen Jackson
Photo via YouTube

Former NBA star Stephen Jackson revealed on a new podcast that he was occasionally high on pot when he took the court—but he may not be the only player to smoke up before games.

Speaking on the I Am Rapaport podcast with actor Michael Rapaport, the former Golden State Warriors forward admitted that there were “a couple games where I smoked [beforehand] and had great games.” But he also admitted there were some games where he “was on the bench after three minutes sitting on the sideline, ‘Please calm down, this high has to calm down.’”

Jackson said the team’s coach, Don Nelson, was well aware that he smoked pot. He even shared a story about a team drug test that showed Nelson may have had a far more lax approach to the drug than the league itself.

“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. Don Nelson hauls ass down there giving us high-fives, like, 'Yeah, we can smoke now!’” said Jackson. “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.”

The current Golden State Warriors coach, Steve Kerr, admitted that he tried using marijuana for his chronic back pain. Although he didn’t find any relief with the drug, he still believes it’s a far safer option than using painkillers, which also did not work for him.

“I'm not a pot person. It doesn't agree with me. [But] I don’t think there's any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin,” said Kerr on a CSN Bay Area podcast. "And yet, athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it's Vitamin C. There's this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine, but pot is bad.”

Former NBA star Jay Williams told Fox Business last year that he believed 75-80% of NBA players already use marijuana. He said the NBA should take a more progressive stance toward cannabis, saying it's a safer option than prescription narcotics supplied by league doctors. 

“I’m not condoning for anyone under 18 to use cannabis or marijuana,” said Williams. “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.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.