Stephen Jackson on marijuana in the NBA: 'I smoked my whole career'

Stephen Jackson once chose starting for the NBA champion Spurs over smoking weed. (AP)
Stephen Jackson once chose starting for the NBA champion Spurs over smoking weed. (AP)

Hey, here’s a shocking revelation: Stephen Jackson, a.k.a. Captain Jack, thinks the NBA should remove marijuana from its banned substance list.

TMZ Sports caught up with Jackson at the airport, and he explained, “I think they should take it off. Of course. Why not? … I smoked my whole career. I had a hell of a career — didn’t miss no games.”

Well, sure, if by no games, he means plenty of games.

We shouldn’t be surprised by the ex-player turned ESPN analyst’s admission, since he has already openly admitted to smoking weed before games during a 14-year NBA career and was asked by San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to choose between marijuana and starting for an NBA champion.

“I ain’t going to say it helped,” Jackson told TMZ Sports, “but as far as coming down after the games, relaxing, it helped. Before the games, nobody can play high, especially in the NBA. It’s a high level of competition, and guys are great, so nobody can play high, but after the games, guys need to come down and relax, because it’s a physical sport. …

“If anybody say they need to be high during the games, they don’t know what the f** they talking about.

“Some guys can probably play high. Me? The games I smoked was the games I knew I wasn’t going to play. I never played high, because I knew I wasn’t going to be effective, but some guys can do it. I wasn’t one of them.”

That’s weird, since Jackson told actor Michael Rapaport on a podcast this past January that he smoked weed before “great games” and “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.”

This might explain why Jackson was so willing to eat a mayo and jelly sandwich on ESPN on Thursday:

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Jackson is right about one thing: He had a hell of a career, spanning eight teams, including the title-winning Spurs, “We Believe” Warriors and “Malice at the Palace” Pacers, averaging 15 or more points for eight consecutive seasons — all as a second-round pick drafted out of community college.

Although, we’re not sure what Jackson would have been had he not “smoked my whole career,” so we suggest NBA commissioner Adam Silver do more research than, “Hey, it worked for Captain Jack,” as the league weighs the prospects of negotiating medical marijuana use with the players’ association.

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Ben Rohrbach is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!