Is The NBA 420 Friendly?
Former NBA champion and 14 year veteran, Stephen Jackson, told TMZ reporters on Thursday " I have smoked weed my whole NBA career, and I had one hell of a career."
Well the cat is out the bag guys, NBA players smoke marijuana. Throughout history it seems like the NBA and reefer have been synonymous with one another. In 1997 a league wide survey revealed that at least 70% of players are getting baked. Charles Oakley gave his educated guess in 2001 saying that he is certain over half the players toke. An answer probably understated since he was still playing with the Raptors at the time.
Now sure, Stephen Jackson and Charles Oakley weren't exactly superstars and if your really going to push this movement of lifting the weed ban in the NBA you may need current superstars like Kevin Durant to join the culture. *Cue KD coming out the club and dropping a prescription bottle filled with what may or may not be weed*
Clearly this is medicinal as you can see his cast. So, lets move on to those who just like to use the substance recreationally, such as Durant's teammate and half the splash brother tandem, Klay Thompson. Klay was arrested in the spring of 2011 with the Washington State Cougars basketball team for possessing 2 grams of the devil's lettuce. This news all came to light when the public found out about their Head Coach Steve Kerr blazing it up to relieve chronic back pain. Is this the same Golden State team that holds the best NBA season record and two championships in the last 3 seasons? Do teams that toke together win championships together? We will let the Warriors answer that as they continue to blaze right through their opponents with a first overall record of 31-8.
If you're just thinking that it's this new generation of basketball players who are taking their opportunities for granted well then I suggest you pick up the NBA all-time points leader, win leader and greatest center of all time, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's book " A Season On The Reservation." He covers very interesting topics such as his prescription for medical marijuana and his arrest where he tried to leave Toronto and go back to the US with some Canadian bud.
Speaking of Canada, NBA Hall of Famer and two time MVP Steve Nash was reported partying in a club in Phoenix for Jason Richardson's birthday. He caught the aroma of his hometown's (BC) greatest export and followed it right to the source. He proceeded to ask the guy if he can have a bowl and the surprised stoner asked him " You smoke weed?"
Steve Nash gave a very stoneresque response saying "I'm from Vancouver bro."
Whether they are duds or studs you can find a 420 friendly basketball player in every generation. However, the late 90's and mid 2000's seemed to have the biggest outbreak of dopers.
In 1996, Allen Iverson was drafted first overall and followed up with Rookie Of The Year in the 1996-1997 season. That summer of 1997 AI was arrested with marijuana and gun charges, after being pulled over in his hometown of Virginia for speeding. Allegedly, Allen Iverson was once so baked he was unable to find his car in a mall parking lot and decided he is going to buy a new one. With the history AI has of making outrageous purchases, such as purchasing a new suit in every city he played in because he refused to take any luggage with him anywhere, I certainly wouldn't put this past him.
In the 1997-1998 college basketball season with the Florida Gators, Jason "White Chocolate" Williams failed 4 drug test for marijuana while breaking records. I understand your in college and doobies get passed around and it isn't that uncommon for athletes to get caught once, possibly twice. But to break the school record in assists in single game (17) and most failed drug tests in a season (4), which evidently leads to being suspended the rest of your season aka missing playoffs and March Madness, maybe White Chocolate would want to clean up his act for his upcoming junior season and up his value in the draft. Not this WHITE BOY (which is tatted across his knuckles) who decided he can't do another year in Gainesville, Florida (hence the Marijuana abuse.) Instead he pulled a power move declaring for the draft after that controversial season. In his favour the Sacramento Kings were not too concerned with his love for bud as much as they were impressed about his ability to move the ball and Jason Williams was taken 7th overall in the draft. He followed that up with making the All-Rookie team in his first season.
After Carmelo Antony's rookie campaign in 2003-2004 where he also received All-Rookie Team honours (notice a trend?) he was caught with the green in his backpack at an airport. Cleverly enough, Carmelo was able to throw his friend James Cunningham under the bus saying he borrowed the backpack a week ago and that it belongs to him. Being the ride or die friend James is he signed off on a affidavit taking full responsibility for that. This act of tattling must have really eaten away at Carmelo's conscience and hurt his street rep because that same year he received a lot of flak for appearing in a rap video "Stop Snitching" warning residents of Baltimore to not collaborate with police.
This list can go on forever with guys like J.R. Smith, Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers, even ex players, Marcus Camby, Cliff Robinson, Rasheed Wallace, Brad Miller and Damon Stoudamire. They have all been arrested and/or suspended by the league for marijuana use at some point.
Sacramento King's center Zach Randolph was arrested with possession and intent to sell at a cookout this summer. This cookout saw many patrons publicly drinking, smoking dope and blocking street's of an LA housing projects. When the party poopers rolled up looking to make arrests, hand out tickets and fill their monthly quota, the two-time NBA All-Star was spotted with two other men sprinting inside a house. The house was then barricaded by party goers protecting Randolph and they proceeded to throw rocks and bottles at police cruisers. The patrons ended up smashing the windows and slashing the tires of 5 police cruisers and 1 sheriff's vehicle. Luckily for Randolph and his NBA future the felony was eventually dropped to a misdemeanor.
Lastly, Lebron James the ultimate wino who has admitted to smoking weed in his high school days was caught in a club huffing on what he claims was just an e-cig. However, I'll leave this picture here for you and your imagination.
The NBA is much more progressive than other leagues such as the NFL and handout much lighter fines and suspensions. The Association has "adapted to the times" in conjunction with their player's association.
Commissioner Adam Silver, told GQ Magazine in 2014 that the league’s anti-drug policy is more concerned with HGH testing and performance-enhancement drugs rather than marijuana testing.
So, is the NBA really 420 friendly and possibly willing to lift the ban of marijuana ? We will leave that to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to decide.