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Don Nelson has been 'smoking some pot' in Hawaii since NBA retirement

By
Alex Butler
Former Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson retired from coaching in 2010. He said he has been smoking pot in Hawaii, along with neighbor Willie Nelson, since stepping away from the game. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI
Former Golden State Warriors coach Don Nelson retired from coaching in 2010. He said he has been smoking pot in Hawaii, along with neighbor Willie Nelson, since stepping away from the game. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Former NBA star and longtime coach Don Nelson told reporters that he has been "smoking some pot" in Hawaii since his retirement from the league.

Nelson, 78, meet with the media before the Golden State Warriors beat the Sacramento Kings on Thursday at Oracle Arena in Oakland. He spoke as part of the "We Believe" team, with former players Jason Richardson and Stephen Jackson.

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Nelson coached the "We Believe" Warriors during the 2007-2008 season, when the franchise made the playoffs for the first time in 13 seasons.

"Yeah, I've been smoking some pot," Nelson said. "But I never smoked when I played or coached. It's new to me.

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"I am having a pretty good time. It's more legal now than it's ever been. So I'm enjoying that."

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee told the New York Times in April that he was introduced to marijuana by his neighbor, music legend Willie Nelson. He usually smokes during poker games in Hawaii. Those games include Willie Nelson and Woody Harrelson.

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"I didn't think I'd ever be a pot smoker, but hanging out with Willie and Woody and guys like that, you know, everybody smokes in those games," Nelson told the Times. "It just became kind of natural. Usually you're smoking with your friends, sitting around, telling stories, you smoke a bowl. It's not that I smoke all the time. I usually just smoke at night during poker games. Like Willie told me, it's hard to be depressed when you're smoking pot."

He now grows his own plants, dubbed "Nellie Kush."

Nelson also said he is involved in the rental business, renting out homes in Hawaii. He said he invested his fortune in Maui. He played 14 seasons for the Chicago Zephyrs, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics from 1962 to 1975.

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Nelson posted a 1,335-1,063 record in 31 seasons as a head coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, Warriors, New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks.

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