The debate about the legalization of marijuana has been ongoing as more states are legalizing medical use, and some going even further as to legalize recreational use. Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted to using marijuana to deal with chronic back pain; his confession has opened the conversation as to whether or not NBA players should be penalized for using the drug as well. While on ESPN’s NBA Countdown this past Friday, Chauncey Billups said he wanted some of his former teammates to play while high on marijuana because it actually “helped them focus in on the gameplan.”
“I honestly played with players—I’m not going to name names, of course I’m not, I’m not that kind of dude—but I wanted them to actually smoke. They played better like that.
“They had big-time anxiety—a lot of things that can be affected—that it brought them down a little bit. Helped them focus in on the gameplan. I needed them to do that. I would rather them do that sometimes than drink.”
Tracy McGrady added that some NBA players continue to smoke marijuana during the season despite having to take four random drug tests during the year. He also said guys are drinking and killing people, but can’t smoke weed. There haven’t been many suspensions for marijuana use in the NBA, but it’s definitely had a major effect in the NFL where the players’ bodies undergo more strenuous activity.
Both Billups and Jalen Rose noted that players are able to take addictive pain pills when marijuana could’ve been a better substitute.