As you probably know, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr recently admitted to smoking marijuana 18 months ago when he was recovering from chronic back pain. While Kerr said it didn’t sit well with him at the time, he explained how he hopes professional sports leagues will eventually allow players to use marijuana as a form of pain relief.
Since then, many individuals from the NBA have weighed in on Kerr’s comments. One head coach said the rhetoric around the use of marijuana has to be very careful, while some of Kerr’s current players supported his vision as long as it’s being used for the right reasons. Then there’s New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, who admitted on Tuesday to using marijuana in the past to help him recover from back surgery.
“I don’t know about its medicinal ability. I had back surgery, and the year I was off, I was smoking marijuana during that period of time,” Jackson said on CBS Sports Network’s We Need to Talk. “I think it was a distraction for me as much as a pain reliever. But I never thought of it as ultimately a pain medication for that type of situation.”
Jackson also went on to say marijuana is still very much a part of the culture in the NBA and a decision has to be made on how the league can deal with it.
“We have tried to stop [marijuana use] in the NBA,” Jackson continued. “I don’t think we have been able to stop it in the NBA. I think it still goes on and is still a part of the culture in the NBA. It is something that we either have to accommodate or we have to figure out another way to deal with it.”
It’s worth noting that Jackson has talked about his use of marijuana and LSD in the past, although he wasn’t too happy with how people eventually used the information to portray him. Even so, based on how relevant the topic is right now, having one of the most well known coaches in NBA history talk about it should only drive the conversation further.