4/20 Special: 'Melo and the Top 20 Most Successful Potheads in Sports History

Joseph MerkelSenior Analyst IIIApril 19, 2011

4/20 Special: 'Melo and the Top 20 Most Successful Potheads in Sports History

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    In honor of the holiest of pothead holy days, it’s time to look back in the world of sports and recognize the accolades of some of the best, brightest and burnt out.

    While some will concentrate on the bonehead pot users, seldom do people concentrate on all the tokers, smokers and reefer heads that despite excessive marijuana usage are some of the most successful athletes in the world of sports.

    So without further adieu, because if you’re reading this you’re attention may already be hazy, I give you the 20 most successful potheads in sports history. 

20) Mario Chalmers

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    In 2008, Chalmers was thrown out of NBA Rookie Camp for smoking pot and was fined $20,000.

    Chalmers is best known for two reasons. His amazing game-tying shot in the 2008 NCAA Tournament title game, and being “that other guy” on this year’s Miami Heat roster.

    I’m sure fans are happy he wasn’t lit during the title game, but I guess we know why he decided to become a ‘Jay’-Hawk.

19) Ryan Mallet

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    Mallet began his career at University of Michigan as the No. 2 high school QB in the country behind Jimmy Clausen. Fast forward four seasons and Mallet is one of the top QBs in the 2011 Draft.

    And while Clausen dropped for different reasons, Mallet has seen his NFL draft stock plummet since controversial stories have come out regarding his drug use.

    Recently, Mallet admitted to using marijuana during the NFL Combine’s interview portion, but I’m sure teams are worried about a lot more than a little pot use.

    I know it’s illegal and all, but come on, what else was he supposed to do in Arkansas?

18) Michael Beasley

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    Beasley lands on this list because he was one of the dominant freshman in college basketball in the last decade.

    He joins Mario Chalmers on this list as another player that was in the room with him toking up at NBA Summer Camp.

    However, it didn’t come out that he was in the room until a year when Pat Riley forced him to admit to it.

    Jokes on everyone else though. He must have thought the scouts were high to think that he was actually 6’10.”

17) Josh Howard

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    Josh Howard has seen accolades everywhere he has gone.

    In 2003, he was a consensus First-Team All-American and ACC Player of the Year. Then, he was a first-round draft pick and a selection to the second-team All-Rookie squad. 

    Josh topped it off in 2007 with his first All-Star selection.

    However, Howard sparked controversy in 2008 when he admitted to smoking pot, and throwing the rest of the league under the bus as well.

    Howard said during a radio interview that NBA players do smoke marijuana.

    Thanks for the newsflash Josh.

16) Jason Williams

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    White chocolate likes drugs. He liked them so much that he was kicked out of school for his fourth drug violation while at University of Florida.

    But to give you an idea of how good he was, after declaring for the draft Williams still went seventh overall in the first round.

    In 2000, he was suspended for the first five games of the season for testing positively for marijuana usage.

    Drug use is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Williams’ off-the-court controversy, but we’ll save that for another slideshow.

15) Bill Lee

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    Lee is one of the most popular potheads in sports. A 2008 inductee to the High Times Hall of Fame, he was nicknamed “Spaceman” because of his taste for the ghanja. 

    Lee accumulated 119 wins and was a 1973 All-Star selection. But he became infamous when declaring that he used to smoke before games.

    "I told [reporters] that I sprinkled marijuana on my organic buckwheat pancakes, and then when I ran my five miles to the ballpark, it made me impervious to the bus fumes. That's when [Baseball Commissioner] Bowie Kuhn took me off his Christmas list."

    Blast off, Spaceman!

14) Portland Jail Blazers

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    The Jail Blazers era was a rocky one in the early 2000s. So much in fact that when Damon Stoudamire and Rasheed Wallace were cited for marijuana it didn’t seem so bad in comparison.

    The Blazers’ duo were one of the best tandems in the NBA at the time, but were pulled over for speeding in 2002. The officer that pulled them over confiscated just under 40 grams of grass between the two of them.

    Three months later, Stoudamire was in trouble again. While police found a large bag of marijuana in his house, the charges were later dropped when information surfaced that the police had searched illegally.

    The Blazers…It’s cliché, but what a terrific mascot for this pair to represent.

13) Ross Rebagliati

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    He may never be a household name, but Rebagliati was the best snowboarder in the world in 1998 when he won snowboarding’s first Olympic gold medal.

    When his drug test came back positive for THC, Rebagliati was stripped of his gold medal.

    Not too far in the future it was determined that THC/Marijuana was not on the list of banned substances and he was given back the gold.

    So they thought pot was a performance enhancer? Maybe if there was a cheeseburger at the end of the run.

12) Stephon Marbury

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    Marbury is one of the biggest NBA screw-ups of the last decade, but also one of the most naturally talented players the league has seen.

    Controversy, weight gain and a bad attitude followed him everywhere until he was bought out by the Knicks and took his game overseas.

    In 2009, a video surfaced online of Steph smoking pot, to which he replied:

    "I smoke marijuana … yep … you saw me,” Steph said. “I’m not under contract … I smoke weed occasionally. … I’m not driving … I’m following the rules.”

    You follow the rules? It’s illegal Mr. Starbury.

11) Ricky Williams

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    In terms of loving marijuana, Ricky Williams is one of the tops. But in terms of success? Maybe not so much.

    Williams had a very solid career as a pro, but will always be remembered for when Mike Ditka mortgaged the New Orleans Saints’ future to trade up for the Texas product.

    He was suspended for violating the NFL’s drug policy on numerous occasions and when he had to make the decision to smoke pot, or go back to the NFL…he chose pot, at least for a little while. 

    Williams moved to Canada to play for the CFL and when he was ready to give up pot, he decided to come back to the NFL.

    He has been an All-Pro, a Heisman Winner and a Pro Bowl MVP.  A Super Bowl ring probably would have propelled him up the list.

    Way to never give up on your dream…or the green.

10) Santonio Holmes

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    Holmes has been one of the NFL’s best wide receivers since being drafted in the first round out of Ohio State.

    Since then he has racked up over 4,500 receiving yards and helped lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to Super Bowl 38, in which he was the MVP because of an unbelievable game-winning catch with time winding down.

    Unfortunately, the Steelers couldn’t take the controversy that came with Holmes.  He was shipped to the Jets after his latest arrest, just one among many including marijuana possession.

    Before the 2010 season, Holmes was sent to the Jets for a fifth-round pick. Not only was it a bargain, but Holmes got reunited with his favorite colored jersey. 

9) Carmelo Anthony

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    While Anthony is an elite NBA player, he has the potential to rise up this list over the course of his career. If he actually tried harder, he could be the best in the game.

    After a midseason trade that brought him to his hometown New York Knicks, Melo is expected to team up with Amar’e Stoudamire to bring home several championships to the Big Apple.

    After winning a National Championship with Sycaruse in 2003, Melo was drafted third overall in the draft just months later. However, he followed up his accolades in 2004 with a marijuana drug bust at a Denver Airport.

    Apparently someone forgot to tell Melo you can’t bring pot on an airplane.

    In 2006, Anthony caught trouble again when he and a friend were pulled over and cited for marijuana possession. 

    With all the pot he smokes, Melo might need a “Big Apple.”

8) Randy Moss

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    Moss is one of the best wide receivers in the history of the NFL. He’s found success everywhere he has gone…well, at least where he tries. 

    Moss was a bargain at 21st overall in the 1998 draft and has won close to every award to prove it.

    Seven Pro Bowls, Comeback Player of the Year, Pro Bowl MVP, Offensive Rookie of the Year and not to mention the 2000s All-Decade team are all accomplishments that warrant him being this high on the list.

    But in 2005, Moss clinched his status as one of the best athlete pot smokers when he admitted to using marijuana usage since entering the NFL. 

    Not only did Moss say he had smoked it, he admitted that he still did “every blue moon.”

    Moss is green, weed is green. Can’t be a coincidence. 

7) Michael Vick

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    When taking time off as a dog murderer, Michael Vick likes to kick back and chill with a nice doobie.

    Or so he made everyone believe when he was caught at an Atlanta airport trying to sneak weed on a plane through a water bottle.

    A water bottle, Mike?

    Vick has seen his fair share of controversy since entering the league, including a jail sentence of nearly two years.

    But when you’ve been convicted of animal cruelty and serve jail time in the prime of your career, a little pot just doesn’t seem like a big deal. 

6) Nate Newton

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    Newton was a six-time Pro Bowl offensive guard for the Cowboys and a three-time Super Bowl champion.

    He helped pave the way for Emmitt Smith in his prime years with Dallas and who knows how many more yards he might have ran for had his starting guard not been potentially blazed every Sunday.

    Newton is the player on the list that has got in the most trouble for his usage of pot.

    Not only did he get busted driving with 213 pounds of grass in 2001, but just five weeks later he was again caught, this time with 175 pounds.

    Newton served 30 months in jail but avoided a possible 20-year sentence after pleading guilty to the crimes.

    Maybe if he didn’t smoke he would have been a tailback. Munchies is a hell of a thing.

5) Bill Walton

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    Walton has a tee pee in his backyard. He went to UCLA during the prime hippie years, and is one of the strangest NBA players in the history of the league.

    But he also has a list of accomplishments longer than most of the people on this list combined. Walton was an NCAA Champion, two-time NBA Champion and a NBA Finals MVP to just name a few accolades.

    He was in “Little Nicky.” ‘Nuff Said. 

4) Tim Lincecum

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    You mean to tell me that the hippie with the plaid shirts, long hair and laid-back lifestyle smokes pot?

    That’s right. When Timmy was busted for marijuana back in 2009 it was all over the headlines, but it wasn’t exactly news if you get my drift.

    But at only 26-years-old, Lincecum has already won two Cy Young Awards and is a World Champion baseball player.

    If you still don’t believe it, you needn’t look further than his In-n-Out Burger diet; which includes three double cheeseburgers, two orders of fries, and a milkshake.

    Yea that’s on a regular basis. 

3) Kareem Abdul-Jabar

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    The seven-footer formerly known as Lew Alcindor, has had his jersey retired by both the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

    He’s a NBA Hall of Famer, six-time NBA MVP, 19-time All-Star and is the NBA’s All-Time Leading Scorer with 38,387 points scored.

    His accomplishments are so ridiculous that they can’t all be listed. But his marijuana usage can.

    Abdul-Jabar joins the list of players that have tried to get marijuana through an airport. He turned over a small amount over to police in 1998 at a Toronto airport, only to be arrested for a DUI in 2000.

    Another UCLA star with ties to the green? Surprise, surprise.

2) Arnold Schwarzenegger

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    Yes we love to make fun of the former California Governor for his accent, his ridiculous turn in to politics and his amazingly bad movies, but before all of that he was just another pothead.

    Video has surfaced of an obviously drunk and high Governator smoking a doobie at fellow body builder Lou Ferrignos’ birthday party.

    Funny enough, while Arnold helped minimize marijuana possession as an offense, he opposed the legalization of the drug.

    Get to the choppaaaaaahh!!

1) Michael Phelps

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    The media was outraged when the 14-time Gold Medalist was caught on camera ripping what looks to be a pretty nice ROOR bong.  

    You can only imagine that a guy with that high a lung capacity could do some serious damage to a six-footer.

    It’s pretty obvious that Phelps belongs on this list, but he reigns supreme for his absolute total domination of the world of swimming and his record-setting medal run in 2008.

    Not to mention that he currently holds individual or team world records in eight different events.

    So he smokes a little pot. Call me when someone else in the world can do what he can do. Then we’ll talk.