The NBA isn't all hard work and arduous traveling throughout the season. It's also about drugs and sipping on Lean—at least that's what is being reported by TMZ at the moment.
TMZ initially reported Lamar Odom is dealing with a drug problem and the man who last played for the Clippers has become the NBA version of Bigfoot with people trying to catch a glimpse of him in the wake of the bombshell report.
The players we've spoken with all agree...pot is prevalent. But some of the players say Lean -- Sprite and Codeine cough syrup -- has become a recreational drug of choice during the season. One player said it was even used during the recent playoffs.
One current and famous player tells TMZ, he estimates 30% of his fellow NBAers use hard drugs -- including Molly, Ecstasy, and Lean -- at some point during the season. He says he's never been aware of anyone doing cocaine during the season.
Another current and famous player tells us he estimates only 10% of NBA players use hard drugs, and no one uses cocaine during the season -- it's too risky. He also says Lean is a drug of choice.
We will let that sink in for just a second.
First off, we can go ahead and skip pleasantly past the pot accusations. We can continue to be naive and hold out hope NBA players skip on the sticky, but we know what goes down. None of that is all that shocking.
What is clearly surprising is that players are able to get away with this. Of course, we have to take the report with a grain of salt. If true, 30 percent of players indulging in drugs is rather astonishing.
Even if it's closer to 10 percent as one "famous" player contends, it's still a problem and one that might raise issues with the NBA's drug testing policy.
Thankfully, TMZ managed to get some thoughts on exactly that from some of their sources.
...the big problem is that the league is only allowed to test players 4 times during a season. Because testing is randomized, the last test can be administered as early as January, and the season lasts for months thereafter. As one recently-retired NBA player put it, after the 4th test, "It's like Christmas Day. We can take whatever we want."
In 2012, ESPN covered the NBA's drug policy and the sentiment the league's testing was somehow soft. In that report, they posted how players are actually tested:
All players are subject to four (4) random tests each season (from October 1 to June 30). All players are also subject to two (2) random tests each off-season (from July 1 to September 30). All such tests are scheduled and conducted by an independent, third-party entity and are without prior notice to the player. The NBA and the NBPA are not involved in the scheduling of any tests or the selection of players for testing.
Now TMZ does contend that one person close to the NBA scene noticed that drug use has curbed in the last few years, largely because of the ubiquity of people with phones and social media accounts.
Knowing you might end up on someone's Twitter feed smoking out has a policing effect. Still, if Facebook and Instagram are doing a better job of limiting drug use, you most certainly have an issue with your policy.
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