Stephen Jackson smoked marijuana before NBA games, played high

By Alex Butler   |   Updated Jan. 31, 2017 at 8:42 AM
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Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Former Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson allegedly knew that his players were smoking marijuana during the season, according to former NBA player Stephen Jackson.

Jackson was in a sharing mood Friday, appearing on the I Am Rapaport podcast. He told Michael Rapaport about his 14-year NBA career, including stories about how he smoked marijuana before playing in 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.'"

"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!' 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 38-year-old played four seasons for the Warriors. He posted 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game during his career. He now works as an analyst for ESPN. In his best season for the Warriors, Jackson put up 20.7 points, 6.5 assists, and 5.1 rebounds per contest.

"Listen, man, one thing about basketball, it's no PEDs, no steroids, it's nothing like that," Jackson said on the podcast. "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."

Jackson won an NBA championship with the 2002 San Antonio Spurs.

"A lot of guys do it because that's the best way to relax," Jackson said. "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...."

Jackson retired in the summer of 2015. He was once suspended for 30 games and charged with one count of misdemeanor assault and battery after punching a fan during the 2004 brawl at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

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