Stephen Jackson isn’t afraid to talk candidly about his time in the NBA, and the man who was once at the center of the Malice at the Palace has plenty of incredible stories to tell about his time in the league both on and off the court.
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This week he went on the I Am Rapaport podcast with Michael Rapaport and told a new story about his time with Don Nelson and the Warriors. After detailing a night where he, Nelson, one of Nelson’s friends, and Baron Davis drank “two or three bottles of McCallan 12” in a night right before the start of the season, Jackson told a hilarious tale of Nelson being really excited that Jackson and Davis could smoke weed again after their final drug test of the season.
“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 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 hi-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.”
I just love the visual of Don Nelson running through the locker room, excited that he could smoke weed with his guys again.
Rapaport then asked Jackson about how guys could function as professional athletes if they smoked weed before an NBA game, and Jackson explained that while it worked sometimes, there were occasions where he was way too high before games.
“I can’t speak for nobody else. Me personally, I’ve done a lot of shit 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.'”
The entire interview is fantastic, as Jackson is one of the all-time greats at spinning an NBA yarn, but the anecdotes about Don Nelson, Baron Davis, and smoking weed before playing in games were absolutely hilarious.