Don Nelson was totally cool with his players smoking weed.
It’s really, really easy to get around most major leagues’ marijuana testing policies. The NFL doesn’t test during the season, while the NHL and MLB don’t test at all. NBA players are administered four tests per season, but after the fourth you can smoke all the weed you want.
Journeyman forward Stephen Jackson, noted marijuana enthusiast, explained on Michael Rapaport’s podcast recently that he didn’t have to hide his excitement when that fourth test came around.
“Nobody knows this story, so this is the first time somebody is hearing this. We’re in Utah and the 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 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!” 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 went on to explain that getting high before games could be a blessing or a curse.
“I can’t speak for nobody else. Me personally, I’ve done a lot of s--- before games sometimes and still was able to go out there and be productive. I just gotta be real, you know, it’s been a couple games where I smoked before games and had great games. 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.’”
Jackson is fudging the bit about having never told the story before, though. He shared it with Complex in August. But I’m certainly glad he told it again, because it’s delightful.