Ex-NBA player Stephen Jackson says he smoked weed before games

By ESPN

Former NBA player Stephen Jackson says he occasionally smoked marijuana before playing in games.

Jackson’s admission came on the I Am Rapaport: Stereo Podcast hosted by actor Michael Rapaport.

“I just gotta be real, you know, it’s been a couple games where I smoked before games and had great games,” Jackson said on the podcast, which was posted Friday. “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’ — I done shot three shots that went over the backboard, like, I’m going to be honest, like, ‘Ahh, I gotta calm down.'”

Both Jackson and Rapaport are contributors to ESPN’s NBA coverage.

Jackson also said on the podcast that Don Nelson, his coach while with the Golden State Warriors, knew that the forward smoked marijuana.

“We’re in Utah, and the [league’s] drug test people are around, you know, to get our last drug test so we can smoke, right? Don Nelson, we talked about weed all the time. He was cool with talking about weed. We got our last test in Utah, right? So me and [teammate] Baron [Davis] are coming out the locker room just screaming, excited with our last pink slip saying we could smoke for the rest of the season, and Don Nelson hauls ass down there giving us high-fives, like, ‘Yeah, we can smoke now!'” Jackson recalled. “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.”

Jackson, 38, played for the Warriors for four seasons. He averaged 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game over his 14-year career.

Jackson’s most memorable season was the 2006-07 campaign, during which he was traded by Indiana to Golden State and helped the Warriors upset the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs.