Stephen Jackson Reveals He Occasionally Smoked Marijuana Before NBA Games

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 31, 2017

MEMPHIS, TN - APRIL 1: Stephen Jackson #3 of the San Antonio Spurs celebrates a three point basket during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies on April 1, 2013 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Stephen Jackson revealed Friday that he smoked marijuana before playing in some games during his NBA career.

Jackson—who played for the New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors, Charlotte Bobcats, Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers—acknowledged as much on actor Michael Rapaport's I Am Rapaport: Stereo Podcast (h/t ESPN.com).

Jackson suggested it had varying impacts on his performances.

"I just gotta be real, you know. It's been a couple games where I smoked before games and had great games," he said. "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.'"

Jackson also revealed former Warriors head coach Don Nelson knew he smoked marijuana and even celebrated with his players when they passed their final drugs tests of the season, presumably giving them a free pass to smoke for the rest of the campaign.

The former forward played parts of four seasons for Golden State and said of Nelson, "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."

James Herbert of CBSSports.com noted marijuana is on the NBA's list of prohibited substances and that players can be randomly tested as many as four times during the season and twice in the offseason.

Jackson's comments came after current Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he tried marijuana in an effort to alleviate his back pain, per CSN Bay Area's Monte Poole.

While Jackson seemed to be referring to using marijuana recreationally rather than medicinally, Kerr said: "To me, it's only a matter of time before medicinal marijuana is allowed in sports leagues because the education will overwhelm the perception," per Janie McCauley of the Associated Press (h/t NBA.com).

During an appearance on NBA Countdown (h/t Complex's Dana Scott) in December, former NBA All-Star Chauncey Billups also advocated marijuana use as a method for NBA players to avoid addictive painkillers.

Be it Jackson, Kerr or Billups, discussion about marijuana use in the NBA has increased since California, Massachusetts and Nevada joined Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington as states that have legalized the drug "in what advocates said was a reflection of the country's changing attitude toward the drug," per Thomas Fuller of the New York Times.


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