The Reign Man … is now the Strain Man — because ex-NBA star Shawn Kemp is officially in the marijuana business. The 50-year-old Seattle SuperSonics legend is opening Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis in Seattle on Oct. 30 — a shop poised to become the first Black-owned dispensary in the city. In fact, Kemp’s even hosting former Sonics teammate, Gary Payton, at next week’s grand opening. “I’m looking forward to welcoming Sonics fans on a regular basis, starting with opening day,” Kemp said in a statement. “I hope that Shawn Kemp’s Cannabis will be an inspiration for people to get involved with the legal cannabis industry, especially people of color.”
Robinson admitted to using cannabis during his career. He said it helped him handle his anxiety and believed using it helped lengthen his time in the NBA. “(I want) to knock down the myth that athletes and cannabis don’t mix,” Robinson said in 2017. “I played 18 years in the NBA and I used cannabis on and off along the way and I didn’t have a problem.”
One of the goals for Reimagining Justice is to deconstruct America’s War on Drugs, and that’s a massive thing. How do we turn that around? Al Harrington: We’re really focused on trying to bring home these people who are sitting in jail, still, for marijuana possession. Obviously, there are people now who’ve made millions and almost billions of dollars from it and, you know, there are still people locked up. And after these people have served their time, they have no opportunities because they have to work around with this blemish on their record where it doesn’t allow them to apply for jobs.
Right, they still have that on their record. Al Harrington: And we have to honestly do a better job of holding police accountable for the way they police cannabis. Because I can tell you, for sure, that the way they police cannabis in Beverly Hills compared to where they do it in Compton is totally different. So, there’s a lot of things to peel back in regards to reform in general … At the end of the day, there are still people dealing with this.
How do you feel about the turn on marijuana in sports, particularly with the NBA? It feels like things are changing around the country but sports is coming slow. Al Harrington: Things are definitely changing. The MLB is no longer testing. The NFL is still testing with no penalty, which is kind of weird. The NBA is kind of the last to the party, but they’re going to not test for cannabis in the bubble with the mental ride that they’re about to go through. Change is happening slowly but surely. When we get the schedule to change and start to do real research on stuff like that, that’s when we’ll be off to the races in regards to opening up cannabis to all of sports.
Wilson Chandler: Alcohol brought in half of the federal government’s total revenue in 1934 after it was legalized. Helped the economy a great deal after/during the Great Depression. Safe to say marijuana will have a much larger or similar affect on today’s economy? Or no?
Now, of the 123 teams across MLB, the NBA, NHL and NFL, 50 play in states or provinces where recreational marijuana is legal (40.6%). Another 51 teams play in jurisdictions where medical marijuana is legal (41.5%). That's 82% of teams (101 of 123) that are playing in cities where a player can walk down the street, go into a dispensary, and legally purchase either recreational or medicinal marijuana -- just like they were buying a six pack of beer.
The NBA's policy has remained the same -- and is now actually the harshest in North American professional sports. A first positive test means a player must enter the marijuana program. The second positive test calls for a $25,000 fine. The third infraction is a five-game suspension, and five more games are added to each ensuing violation (10 games for a fourth positive test, 15 games for a fifth, etc.). However, the NBA does not test players during the offseason, and the union and league agreed to not test players during the league's coronavirus hiatus.
Al Harrington told me that he used cannabis for pain relief after one of his surgeries late in his career rather than taking opiates. Do you think we’ll see the NBA eventually allow players to use cannabis for pain relief? Jason Richardson: My goal – and I think guys like Al and anybody else who’s involved in the cannabis industry – is not just the NBA, we want to see all sports [allow this]. Especially for football players that go through so much pain. We’re hoping it’s all sports. You need something to help your body recover, to relax, to take away the pain and I think this is the more healthy alternative to taking pills. Hopefully, the NBA will soon do that. I hear that in football, it’s being talked about right now during the negotiations with their Players’ Union and the owners. Major League Baseball is doing it. We just hope that across the board, this is [allowed] for everybody and athletes all over the world will be able to do this instead of taking the alternative of pills that could have life-long consequences.
NBA star-turned-marijuana mogul Al Harrington says his Viola company's sales are through the roof since the coronavirus scare took over the U.S. ... and now he's scrambling to meet the demand. Of course, Harrington has turned into a highly successful weed advocate and entrepreneur in his post-playing days ... sharing the medical benefits for athletes, as well as, the average folk.
We spoke with Harrington about the insane demand for cannabis products right now -- after all, EVERYBODY is stressing out over COVID-19 -- and he says his sales have DOUBLED. "The challenge is gonna be making sure that we can keep up with the demand at this point," Harrington tells TMZ Sports. "Everybody is stocking up on their favorite brands. I feel like the 'canna-curious' is really steppin' up right now, especially when you're stuck in the house with your kids 24 hours a day."
Ian Begley: The NBA and NBPA agreed to suspend player drug testing during the moratorium to address concerns regarding the proximity of drug testers amid coronavirus and the sensitivity of drawing blood, according to sources. Yahoo first reported suspension of NBA drug testing.
Marijuana, steroids and performance-enhancing drugs are some of the banned substances in the league’s anti-drug program, even though some states allow recreational and medicinal marijuana use for those 21 or older. According to the CBA, players testing positive for drugs of abuse are banned from the league for a minimum of two years, and players testing positive for performance-enhancing substances are suspended for 25 games for a first violation, 55 games for a second violation and are banned from the league for a minimum of two years for a third violation.
The ground rules for the private affair were nonnegotiable. All tickets, priced at $200, must be purchased online. Each buyer would be screened in advance. There would be no cell phones or personal vehicles. Invitees were directed to arrive at a central location in the Oakland hills, where they would be met by Mercedes-Benz vans and then shuttled a short distance to a residence identified only 48 hours earlier. The guest of honor was cannabis. The party’s host was Brian Shaw, the former NBA player and coach who uses various forms of the plant and insists it makes his life more comfortable.
The purpose of the sponsored event was to educate attendees – mostly retired professional athletes, musicians and other cultural influencers – about its various medicinal uses. Details could be found on the 12-page invitation featuring photos of, among others, former NBA commissioner David Stern and Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, quoting their belief in the health benefits of cannabis. Celebrity chef Nikki Steward, with residence hostess Nikki Shaw serving as co-chef, would prepare an eight-course meal, with a partial menu including braised lamb shanks, lobster mac-and-cheese, chicken pot pies, wings and veggie rolls. And, naturally, there would be desserts, some of which could be plucked from a supine, semi-nude female server.
The same month that Stern’s words went public, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed CBD from its prohibited substance list. In June 2018, the BIG3, the three-on-three basketball league led by Ice Cube that features Harrington and other former NBA players, became the first American pro sports league to do the same. Roughly 18 months later, in January, Stern passed away after a brain hemorrhage. On the phone, Harrington’s voice trembled talking about it. “For the last two years, I kept saying, ‘I gotta go back to New York to run stuff by (Stern),’” Harrington said. “Unfortunately, there is no next time. Which sucks.”
Barnes says he smoked or “self-medicated” as part of his gameday routine. He’d go to shootaround, smoke a joint, nap for a couple hours and then go to the game. He did this same routine throughout his entire 14-year career. And Jackson? He didn’t like playing the least bit high. He’d smoke after games to balance out the adrenaline rush that pulsed through his veins. Some players drank alcohol to come down. He’d consume cannabis. In fact, he’d make sure a blunt was lit by the time he stepped into his car.
For Kevin Durant, there is no downside to marijuana use. So the Brooklyn Nets star, currently rehabbing from a torn Achilles and out for the season, is an advocate for the plant and its removal from the NBA’s banned substance list.
“It’s one of those plants that’s an acquired taste. If you love it, you love it. If you don’t, you’re not even going to be pick it up. It shouldn’t even be a discussion these days,” Durant said on a recent episode “All The Smoke” on Showtime. “It’s just like, marijuana is marijuana. It’s not harmful to anybody. It can only help and enhance and do good things. I feel like it shouldn’t even be a huge topic around it anymore.”
Durant, 31, compared weed’s effects to legalized and non-stigmatized stimulants. “Everybody on my team drinks coffee every day. Taking caffeine every day. Or guys go out to have wine after games or have a little drink here and there. Marijuana should be in that tone,” Durant said. “Why are we even talking about? It shouldn’t even be a conversation now. So hopefully we can get past that and the stigma around it and know that it does nothing but make people have a good time, make people hungry, bring people together — that plant brings us all together.”
So Harrington sees NBA All-Star weekend in Chicago, which along with the rest of Illinois allows recreational sale and use of marijuana as of Jan. 1, as an ideal time to promote his company and its message. Viola hosted a luxury suite and smoke lounge Saturday and a Sunday brunch. "This is an opportunity to raise awareness and a platform where a group of people — entrepreneurs and entertainers — are all in the same place," Harrington said. "For my company, where it's all black and minority ownership, it's an opportunity to uplift and educate."
The irony in the debate to legalize marijuana and related products in professional sports: Many current players are already partaking. “I don’t think it’s a secret,” Wizards guard Isaiah Thomas said of use among peers, noting he doesn’t use CBD or cannabis. “I mean, Matt Barnes and those guys talk about it all the time; they did it when they played. I’m pretty sure that players do it and it works for players."
Harrington, the founder of a cannabis company, Viola, has been at the forefront of championing a similar message in basketball. “I think the day-to-day pain management issues that players deal with can be dealt with through cannabis,” Harrington said of athletes who are often prescribed pain relievers following surgery, including highly addictive opioids. “Something that is all natural and nowhere near as harmful as the stuff that they’re using now.”
“We think that athletes use cannabis to get high, and that’s not the case,” said Antonio Harvey, another former NBA player-turned-advocate who founded Terra Mater Cannabis Company. “Our bodies are beat to s--- every single night. … And a lot of guys use cannabis to cope with that. They don’t get high to get high. They get high to feel better.” Harrington, 39, said cannabis allows him to walk around pain-free after undergoing 13 surgeries over his 16-year playing career, which ended in 2014. There was a time when Harrington thought he would retire from basketball and go into coaching. But through his cannabis and CBD brands, Harrington believes he has found his calling.
I asked Nelson whether he wished marijuana had been an option back when he was coaching. “Well, actually that’s a hard one to answer because I solved my problems at that time with alcohol,” he said. “I would go out and drink a bunch of beers as an ex-player or as the coach after a game and relieve my anxieties that way. So certainly pot is better to do that than alcohol, in my estimation.”
The retired LA Lakers forward has been backing a raft of marijuana and CBD companies for several years, and is now on the brink of launching Swish in partnership with Seven Leaves in Sacramento where he spent much of his professional playing career.
The NBA Championship winner has already taken his first steps towards that goal by partnering with the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative which has a program funded by professional athletes. “My ultimate goal is to get it legalised, or to be a part of the team that gets it legalised in professional sports,” he says.
Nelson grows his own marijuana, called "Nellie Kush," entirely for personal use. He has permission to use marijuana for medical reasons, and he said in the interview that he smokes every day. "You've got to treat it like a baby," Nelson said with a laugh. "Water them, you've got to have music for them. You've got to bless them. It's a whole process, I'm telling you."
Another former pro athlete is jumping onto the CBD bandwagon. Paul Pierce, the NBA champion and 10-time All-Star who retired in 2017, launched a line of cannabidiol-derived products on Tuesday with online seller Eaze Wellness branded with his nickname, “The Truth.” The line, aimed at athletes, includes his Vesper vaporizer.
Critics say the intended benefits of these products are still unclear and unproven. But Lamar Odom says it saved his life. And Pierce says it helped him move past other addictions. “Just being an athlete, you get addicted to pain medications,” Pierce says. “In my case, I was dealing with severe neck pain, because back in the early 2000s I was stabbed severely. I dealt with a lot of chronic pain in my neck and back. I was trying to find alternate remedies for this. And it got to the point where I was addicted to pain killers or NyQuil just to fall asleep, until I came across what CBD did for me.”
Former New York Knicks basketball players J.R. Smith and Al Harrington made a surprise appearance in Albany on Tuesday to push for pot to be legalized before the plan goes up in smoke at the end of the legislative session. The New Jersey-born hoops stars were invited by Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo), who is the sponsor of the recreational marijuana legislation, with the suspected tokers lending star power to the dying legislation. Harrington told The Post that he and Smith had “expertise” in both medical and recreational marijuana and were pushing for black communities to be included in the proposed legislation.
But he now sounds far more open to revising it. Silver, in an interview with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports: "It’s something that we are talking to Michele Roberts and the players association about, about what our policy should be. You might be surprised about it. But when I’ve talked to players about it, I think they have mixed feelings, some players. I think it’s not as much about what guys do in the summer. If they want to smoke pot in the summer, whatever. It’s legal in a lot of states, to your point. No issue. I do think there’s a little bit of concern about some of the pot smoking in-season. I think it’s a team sport, and I think part of the reason we have the rules in place, there was a time not so long ago when there were a group of players who felt – because, ultimately, the players association has to agree on any testing – that maybe there was too much pot being smoken in-season."
"One of the things I’ve been talking more about in the last year is mental wellness of our players. And look, some guys are smoking pot just in the same way a guy would take a drink. And it’s like whatever. “Smoking pot, I’m just using it to come down a little bit or I just want to relax.” No big deal. No issue. And I think it’s the reason why it has been legalized in a lot of states. And from that standpoint, if that were the only issue, maybe we’re behind the times in our program. On the other hand, there’s also guys in the league who are smoking a lot of pot. And then the question is, why are you smoking a lot of pot? And that’s where mental wellness comes in. Because I’ve also talked directly to players who say, “I’m smoking a lot of pot, because I have a lot of anxiety. And I’m struggling.”
Silver: "And if that’s the reason they’re smoking a lot of pot – and by the way, alcohol is perfectly legal, and obviously we don’t have a ban against alcohol. We don’t test against alcohol, unless we have a reason to believe there’s a problem. But we don’t want guys to drink a lot, either. And I think if we hear that a guy is drinking a lot – whether it’s the players association, the team or the league – we’re approaching that guy and saying, “Can we help you?” First and foremost, we want guys to be in great shape. By the way, smoking isn’t great for your lungs."
Brooklyn Nets All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russell was cited at a New York airport Wednesday night after marijuana was found in his checked baggage, a person with knowledge of the incident told USA TODAY Sports. Russell, who was flying from LaGuardia Airport to Louisville International Airport, was questioned by police after a routine search flagged what at first glance appeared to be a can of Arizona Iced Tea. Upon further inspection, the can had a hidden compartment where marijuana was discovered. Russell received a summons to appear in court for marijuana possession.
A spokesperson for the Port Authority – the police agency for LaGuardia and other major airports in the New York metro area – did not yet have information on the incident when contacted Thursday. An NBA player would be required to enter the league's marijuana program if the player "has been convicted of (including a plea of guilty, no contest or nolo contendere to) the use or possession of marijuana in violation of the law," according to the current collective bargaining agreement. There's no suspension until the third violation of the marijuana policy.
Is the NHL's marijuana policy the model of the future? The NFL's CBA expires after the 2020 season, and it's believed the drug policy will be a major discussion point. The NFLPA probably will argue for something similar to the NHL's policy -- test for marijuana, but don't punish it -- and it will be worth monitoring if the NFL agrees. The NBA and NBPA have had ongoing discussions about their marijuana policy, with commissioner Adam Silver seemingly open to reform, being quoted several times as saying, "We should follow the science."
The NBA does not test its players for marijuana in the offseason. Players are subject to four random tests during the regular season. A first positive test means a player must enter the marijuana program. The second positive test calls for a $25,000 fine. The third infraction is a five-game suspension, and five more games are added to each ensuing violation (10 games for a fourth positive test, 15 games for a fifth, etc.).
Gary Washburn: Charles Barkley on former NBA players who said they used marijuana during their career to heal injuries: "I think those guys are full of shit. They didn't smoke pot for medicinal purposes in our day." #NBAonTNT
What do you think the NBA’s and other sports leagues’ policy on cannabis should be? Clifford Robinson: I think that it should be an impairment based policy. Treat it like alcohol. Just because a player has THC metabolites in their system does not mean that they are impaired, or that they are somehow not going to perform as well. These league’s cannabis policies are sometimes touted as being for the players’ own health, which is total propaganda. Cannabis is medicine. Leagues need to treat it as such.
Clifford Robinson: The NBA has no exceptions for medical cannabis use, and no exceptions for use that occurred in a legal state. Look at how many NBA teams are located in states that have legalized cannabis for medical and/or adult-use. Soon Canada will be legal nationwide, including in Toronto where the Raptors play. If the player is consuming responsibly, off the clock, in a place where it’s legal why should the NBA care?
Diamond Leung: Stephen Jackson on why he never was suspended for smoking marijuana all during his career: "I'm not smoking for people to know. I'm smoking for the feeling. I'm smoking to get high."
It’s no secret that former NBA forward Matt Barnes is a cannabis aficionado, as he’s been outspoken about the topic since retiring from the league, and has become an advocate of sorts. Barnes played for nine NBA teams during the course of his 14-year NBA career, which ended on a high note, as he won a title with the Golden State Warriors in 2017. And apparently, Barnes used cannabis throughout his entire career, even dating back to high school. He recently appeared on Van Lathan’s “Red Pill Podcast,” and he admitted he smoked marijuana before every NBA game he played. “We’d have shootaround at 11, I’d be done by 12, back to the house by 12:30,” he said. “Roll a joint, smoke it. Take a nap, wake up, eat, shower, and go to the game.”
Speaking solemnly to hundreds of attendees at the annual Cannabis Science Conference, Clifford Robinson said he medicated with the plant before practices and games to reduce anxiety. “If you play 18 years in the NBA and perform over an 82-game schedule, you’re going to deal with anxiety issues and your ability to relax,” said Robinson, who averaged 14 points and five rebounds per game from 1989 to 2007. “Cannabis has always helped me with that.”
The NFL and NBA are the only two major sports leagues to test for and punish players for relatively low doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
Brooklyn Nets star Kenneth Faried was arrested and charged for possessing more than 2 ounces of weed on Sunday ... and TMZ Sports has the mug shot. The 28-year-old was arrested on the Montauk Highway in Bridgehamption, New York at 1:30 AM ... after the vehicle he was riding in was stopped at a sobriety checkpoint. A rep for the Southampton Town Police Dept. tells us the officer at the scene noticed a "strong odor of marjuana was emanating from the inside of the vehicle."
Cops say Faried got the harsher charge because he was in possession of more than 2 ounces. If convicted, Faried faces up to a year in jail ... for WEED. The Nets released a statement to TMZ Sports, saying, “We are aware of the situation involving Kenneth Faried and are in the process of gathering more information at this time.”
An NBA player who recently signed with the Brooklyn Nets was arrested in Bridgehampton on Sunday morning and charged with being in possession of marijuana. Southampton Town Police said Kenneth Bernard Faried Lewis, 29, known as Kenneth Faried, of Denver, Colorado, was arrested on Montauk Highway at 1:30 a.m. and charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor.
Anthony Puccio: Southampton Police Department tells me that Kenneth Faried was arrested and charged with criminal possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor, this past weekend in Bridgehampton.
Anthony Puccio: Faried was the rear passenger of a vehicle that was stopped during a sobriety checkpoint and was found to be in possession of more than two ounces of marijuana. Money was seized as well and he was released on $500 bail.
Have you been into cannabis for long? Don Nelson: No, I didn’t smoke until maybe three or four years ago. I never smoked when I was coaching. I just started. Willie got me smoking.
How is the quality? Don Nelson: Oh, it’s great. Great stuff. It’s called Nellie Kush. It’s O.G. and Hindu Kush. Hindu Kush is really good. It comes from India and the guy that brought it over mixed the two of them, so we’ve got Nellie Kush now.
Howard Beck: Matt Barnes had a LOT to say re athletes and weed on the latest Full 48: On benefits: "People need to shut up and learn" On NBA drug policy: "You're steering people towards drinking more" On player use: "...some of the biggest names in the game"
I have a German friend who can’t post on here right now (I’m not sure why) but he wants to know what is your favorite go-to-movie? Matt Barnes: When I'm high? I like to laugh. Anything from Old School to Wedding Crashers to any of the Friday's. I like to laugh when I'm high, and I'm high all the time so
Matt Barnes: I would smoke after shoot around. I'd take a nap, wake up, shower, eat and go to the game. I would definitely feel more focused
Matt Barnes: Don was really cool and down to earth. Always came to practice with a beer. Cup of crown. He was cool with whatever off the court as long as we performed on the court
"All of my best games, I was medicated," says Matt Barnes, who won the NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors last year and spent 14 seasons in the NBA. "It wasn't every single game but, in 15 years, it was a lot."
Kenyon Martin, who played 15 seasons in the NBA, estimates 85 percent of the league smoked during his career. "It was a lot. It was people who you wouldn't think," he told B/R at a roundtable discussion in February:
Your winter meeting is Friday. Can you share what is on the agenda? Michele Roberts: "Not much. It will be a discussion of some of the issues that have been in the news. There has been a lot of buzz from the start of the year about medical marijuana. A lot of players are interested in knowing what that is all about, so we will have some conversations about that. [NBA commissioner] Adam [Silver] has revisited the issue on one-and-done, but there are some conversations we will have with the league about that. I wanted to get some input from players about that.
At 7 feet tall, Brad Miller’s adult life has been spent towering above most others. Now he’s working on a different way to get high. The former Sacramento Kings center’s new company, CHC California City, broke ground Friday on its cannabis manufacturing facility in eastern Kern County. The plant will put out 38 different cannabis products including edibles, water-soluble THC and vaporizer cartridges under the name Mountain Chief Products, California City Chamber of Commerce announced in a news release. Miller is the principal in CHC California City but will leave day-to-day operational oversight to deputy Ricky Mauch.
At 7 feet tall, Brad Miller’s adult life has been spent towering above most others. Now he’s working on a different way to get high. The former Sacramento Kings center’s new company, CHC California City, broke ground Friday on its cannabis manufacturing facility in eastern Kern County.
The plant will put out 38 different cannabis products including edibles, water-soluble THC and vaporizer cartridges under the name Mountain Chief Products, California City Chamber of Commerce announced in a news release. Miller is the principal in CHC California City but will leave day-to-day operational oversight to deputy Ricky Mauch. California City has emerged as a surprisingly pot-friendly oasis in the Mojave Desert, with 30 manufacturers or cultivators receiving licenses in the 14,000-person city as of last July, according to ABC23. Former heavyweight boxer Mike Tyson broke ground on a 40-acre “marijuana resort,” half of which will be dedicated to cultivation facilities, on Dec. 20.
Stephen Jackson says he toked up his ENTIRE CAREER and still balled like a boss -- so when it comes to pulling pot off the league's banned substance list, he's all for it. "I think they should take it off, why not?" Jackson told TMZ Sports. "I smoked my whole career, had a hell of a career."
On Monday, California became the nation’s sixth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana through the passage of 2016’s Proposition 64. On Tuesday afternoon, Warriors coach Steve Kerr expressed support for the drug. “I’m a proponent of it,” Kerr said after Tuesday’s practice. “I do feel strongly that [marijuana] is a much better option than some of the prescription drugs and I know that it’s helping a lot of people, which is great.”
Tom Thibodeau's reaction regarding Karl-Anthony Towns advocating for medicinal marijuana use within the NBA: "Karl, he's got a lot of different interests. And I think it says a lot about who he is as a person. I saw [the story] briefly this morning and just knowing Karl, he's a thoughtful guy. I don't know how much he's studied the research, but in terms of helping people and people that are suffering, I know that that's the type of person he is. He's a very open-minded person, he's got great curiosity in a lot of different things, very thoughtful. So it was his opinion, it was honest and I don't have a problem with it."
Minnesota Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns believes the NBA should allow the use of medicinal marijuana among its players. The topic recently came up with the young star during a wide-ranging Q&A with ESPN. In it, Towns was asked what one change he would make if he were commissioner Adam Silver. "I agree with David Stern with marijuana," Towns told ESPN. "You don't have to actually make it 'Mary J' [or] 'Half Baked.' You don't have to do it like that, but you could use the [chemical] properties in it to make a lot of people better.
For Towns, the topic of medicinal marijuana is personal. His girlfriend's nephew is autistic, and he has seen first-hand how some of the new treatments involving properties from marijuana have helped the young boy and his family deal with the condition. "I've seen nothing but benefits for him," Towns said. "And I'm very happy that he finds comfort. He finds that normalcy every day. Just like a father, a mother, a parent with a child, you'd do anything for your child."
Detroit Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy stopped short of agreeing with Stern. But with attitudes changing in regards to marijuana, Van Gundy admitted the NBA faces a complex issue with tough answers. “I think the NBA is going to be in a tough spot down the road – not just medical – but as more states legalize marijuana even for recreational use,” Van Gundy said after Friday’s practice at the Galen Center on the USC campus.
Stan Van Gundy: “That doesn’t mean you have to allow it. There’s still some businesses who test for it, but you let people be impaired by alcohol because it’s legal, how are you going to draw that distinction with marijuana in states that it’s legal? To me, that’s a tough one.”
Jeff Zillgitt: In light of David Stern's comments, NBA reiterates stance on medical and recreational marijuana, via spokesman Mike Bass:
UNINTERRUPTED: The entrepreneur and his craft. THE CONCEPT OF CANNABIS with Al Harrington @CheddahCheese7 is now live at http://youtu.be/9sVsR2DsFKs .
In a recent documentary short for The Undisputed, former Denver Nuggets forward Al Harrington said that a botched surgery while playing for the Nuggets led him to discover CBD, a cannabis extract that is used to treat inflammation. How I started using cannabis, is when I played for the Denver Nuggets I had a botched knee surgery that I ended up getting a staph injection. Ended up having to get four more surgeries just to clean the infection out. You know, I was on all kinds of pain meds. This lady that runs this university, she seen all of the medicine that I had on the thing and she said ‘Al, have you ever tried CBD?’ And I was just like, ‘nah I never really tried’ and she gave me a couple of things to try and I immediately felt the difference.
In this very fascinating 15-minute video, Harrington explains how he got into the marijuana industry including shops in Denver, Portland, and Detroit. He also claims that marijuana use is prevalent in professional sports, from the players, to the coaches, to the owners and that support for removing marijuana from the league’s banned substance list is gaining traction. He even meets with former commissioner of the NBA, David Stern, to discuss the changing perspective on marijuana around the country and whether or not the league is ready to soften their stance on recreational and medical marijuana use. Stern, known for being a very conservative, law and order type presence, gives a surprising answer.
Once the 2016-17 NBA season started, a “hurt” and “lost” Mayo couldn’t bear to watch, consumed by remorse over the years that had preceded his ban. He had “burned the candle at both ends [until I] ain’t got no candle left.” His “entourage” had grown too big, and he had prioritized “showing love to friends, hanging out, and finding girls” over the gym. He acknowledged smoking marijuana and abusing a prescription pain medication that triggered his two-year ban because it is on the NBA’s “drugs of abuse” list. (He emphatically denied testing positive for hard drugs like cocaine.)
“[Thinking I’m crazy] is an easy perspective for someone to have given the way I was living,” Mayo said. “I’m not ignorant. Somebody could easily fix their mind to say something like that because of my résumé. I don’t have a media rep or PR company making sure that everything is good, and I don’t go to social media with my problems. “But that ain’t me. I’m far from crazy. I’ve made some crazy a-- decisions, but I’m not crazy. I’m good with myself. I’m comfortable with my body. I dug myself a hole, but it’s not a coffin. I can still get out.”
Amin Elhassan: When teams ask Qs like this, often know the answer (does player smoke/drink). Checkin to see if he dumb enuff to lie https://twitter.com/hoopshype/status/896740650758029312 …
Yet, the NBA continues to prohibit its players from using marijuana. NBA commissioner Adam Silver, via C.J. McCollum of The Players Tribune: "I don’t see the need for any changes right now. I mean, it’s legal in certain states. But as you know, our players are constantly travelling, and it might be a bit of a trap to say we’re going to legalize it in these states, but no, it’s illegal in other states. And then players get in a position where they’re travelling with marijuana, and we’re obviously getting into trouble."
What are the majority of athletes who come into your clinic plagued by? Marijuana. Marijuana is affecting athletes that much? A lot of kids are picking schools based on the smoking policy because the rule can get you in trouble. The education for now has been changed because people are investing in buying drug companies, marijuana farms because it’s legal … It’s being legalized, but it’s still like nicotine and alcohol. It can kill you. It won’t kill you from smoking it, but it creates a big form of depression.
"I know everyone thought it was for marijuana, but I had to develop some things on the personal side. I had things I had to handle and as a man, as a father, as a husband. Now that I've developed certain things and have grown I feel confident and I feel I can simultaneously handle basketball and my personal life."
“I was young in the league,” he says. “I was using it to handle where I was going. I wasn’t really managing my life at a high level. That was helping me to cope. But in hindsight, while I was coping on a day to day, on a larger scale, it was hindering. Because there were other skills that I needed to learn. Now, being away from marijuana, I’m able to look back on it and understand it and indulge in these other coping mechanisms. I’m older now, too. I feel my brain’s more developed. There’s different things that, chemically, are put in place now, that make me, I feel like a stronger individual, where a crutch doesn’t seem as appealing as it did before. There’s a lot of value in me learning things on my own and dealing with issues head on.”
Matt Steinmetz: Ex-Warrior Stephen Jackson: "I never smoked before playoff games, meaningful games," LINK to interview. bit.ly/2mdEY1f
Antonio and his wife, Jennifer Speer-Harvey, own and operate Terra Mater Farms in Canby, Oregon and was one of the first eight businesses in the state of Oregon to receive a license to grow recreational marijuana. With high quality and a wide natural selection of cannabis (clean grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers), business is booming for Terra Mater and growing at a rapid pace thanks to 132 acres nestled away in Clackamas County. That numbers tell the story. According to the State of Oregon, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission initially believed $18.4 million in tax revenue would be projected within the first two years of annual cannabis sales. That was back in July 2015, when adults could legally posses “limited quantities of usable recreational marijuana”. By the time November 30 rolled around actual tax payments had exceeded $54 million.
It’s one that remains taboo with some parents and places restraints on options for Antonio making that move into coaching at the high school level knowing that Terra Mater and the business of cannabis is one many — even in Oregon — are still trying to wrap their heads around. Unfortunately, stereotypes are not easily uprooted, yet just as Harvey has adjusted to setbacks throughout his life including his dismissal from the Blazers, he hopes he can help bridge the gap educating people about the benefits of marijuana on both a recreational and medical level.
“I believe in this plant and how it can help provide relief to those in pain. I am approached all of the time from people wanting to learn more about cannabis and my big thing is to make sure people are educated on the facts. I’m not pushing my beliefs on anyone, particularly smoking marijuana at a young age which I do not condone, but I do want to make sure people know this information is readily available to them and to make their decisions based on what they have learned. Take cannabinoids for example — they are responsible for marijuana’s effects on the body. That’s one thing I hope people take away from this….that you already have cannabinoids in your brain, in your body that are similar to what is found in cannabis. It’s very valuable information here we are sharing to those open to understanding.”
Billups even claimed that some of his former teammates' performances on the court would improve after they smoked weed before games. He says he encouraged them to do it to quell their anxiety issues before a game's tipoff. "I had teammates…I actually wanted them to smoke, they played better like that. It helped them focus in on the gameplan…I needed them to do that. I would rather them [smoke] sometimes than drink," he said.
Adams didn’t have a strong opinion about whether or not players should be able to use medical marijuana, but he did crack jokes and was his funny self. Adams said: “I don’t now. I haven’t researched it that much … I’m not a doctor, mate. The only thing I know is dudes just want to go to another world. Take that guy and it’ll help get their mind off it. That’s all I know. In terms of medical, no idea, mate. I would stick to prescription if the doctor prescribes it.”
New York Knicks president Phil Jackson appeared on CBS Sports Network's "We Need to Talk"on Tuesday, and he said that, like Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, he used medicinal marijuana to treat his back pain. Jackson had back surgery when he played for the Knicks, missing the entire 1969-70 championship season because of it. "I don't know about it's medicinal ability," Jackson said. "I had back surgery, and the year I was off, I was smoking marijuana during that period of time," Jackson said. "I think it was a distraction for me as much as a pain reliever. But I've never thought of it as ultimately a pain medication for that type of situation. I know ocular things, stomach, digestive issues and other things, I think it is regarded quite highly.
September 26, 2021 | 8:50 pm EDT Update
Adam Zagoria: Kyrie Irving is expected at Nets’ media day Monday, per league sources. We’ll see how it plays out as he’s likely to face a lot of vaccination-related questions in the wake of the @RollingStone story.
Arash Markazi: LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Talen Horton-Tucker are in a suite for today’s Rams-Buccaneers game. pic.twitter.com/2b0bmLPw6V
September 26, 2021 | 6:21 pm EDT Update
Shams Charania: The Los Angeles Lakers are planning to sign two-way guard Austin Reaves to a new two-year contract, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Reaves converted to a standard NBA contract, becomes Lakers‘ 14th roster spot.