Former Sixers discuss marijuana use in the NBA

Noah Levick
NBC Sports Philadelphia

If you have any questions about the use of marijuana in the NBA - the league's testing procedures, attitudes towards it, why players use it - NBC Sports national NBA insider Tom Haberstroh and NBC Sports Bay Area's Warriors insider Monte Poole likely have answers.

Haberstroh and Poole have reported an extensive piece, which you can read here, that features wild tales from Stephen Jackson, details on the NBA's policy on marijuana in comparison to other major professional sports leagues and perspectives from several former players about using marijuana during their careers. 

"Six different NBA players, who did not want to be identified, estimated that the percentage of active players using marijuana in some form - buds, edibles, concentrates, CBD oils, lotions, patches -  was at least 50 percent and as high as 85 percent," Haberstroh and Poole report.

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The story includes a few former Sixers, including Andre Iguodala and Matt Barnes. 

Barnes, who played for nine NBA teams over 14 years, including the Sixers, hosts the Up In Smoke podcast with Jackson. 

"Barnes says he smoked or "self-medicated" as part of his gameday routine," write Haberstroh and Poole. "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."

Another former Sixer, Brian Shaw, said he began smoking marijuana while coaching the Denver Nuggets in 2014.

"When I started to, I guess you could say, medicate myself, I was able to take a step back and slow and shut down my brain," he said.

Igoudala shared his views on why the league treats marijuana use as it does. 

"There's a reason why," he said. "There's a stigma that comes with that and with (black athletes). They don't let stigmas fade with us. They want to keep it where it is."

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Former Sixers discuss marijuana use in the NBA originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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