During an ESPN NBA Countdown segment on Friday, former NBA All-Star point guard Chauncey Billups and fellow panelists Tracy McGrady, Jalen Rose, Michelle Beadle discussed with Phil Jackson’s support of medical marijuana for players, along with how the NBA Players Association and the NBA should work together to let players smoke without violations from the league.
“For medicinal use, I think we absolutely need to have that conversation,” Billups said. “The Players Association, they need to talk about that with the NBA, because there’s a lot of science behind it… because we’ve been through a ton of injuries. I’ve seen a piece on Jason Williams, who was the No. 2 pick in the draft, that talked about him being addicted to Oxycontin and pain pills, and it would have been much better and much easier thing to have marijuana as a relief.”
Billups also encourages the NBA to look into lifting the ban on marijuana it’s being used as a more safe alternative, not the hazardous drug portrayed by the media. Billups briefly explained that he used marijuana before games as a tool to relax. As it worked for him, Billups encouraged teammates to try their hand at using it, too. The start of any professional event for the players involved can cause some nerves and a lot of anxiety, so Billups encouraged his teammates to smoke marijuana as a vice to relax. A heightened focus, according to Billups, was one of the perks that smoking pregame brought Billups and his teammates.