Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted to trying medicinal marijuana after a serious back injury sidelined him for part of the 2015-16 NBA season. There has been much discussion about Kerr’s comments, including support from players Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.
Now, New York Knicks impresario Phil Jackson is saying that he, too, used marijuana to dull his pain after surgery.
Speaking on CBS Sports’ “We Need to Talk” Jackson said that after a back injury in the late ’60s with the Knicks, he used it as a pain medication.
[When I was recovering from back surgery], I was smoking marijuana during that period of time,” Jackson said. “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 … We have tried to stop [marijuana use] in the NBA. I don’t think we have been able to stop it. 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 figure out another way to deal with it.
As James Herbert at CBS points out, Jackson has admitted to drug use before — notably marijuana and LSD — and has wrongly been painted as a “hippie” because of it.
Still, the more people in the NBA talk about marijuana both recreationally and medicinally the closer we get to change from the league on it.
Whether that day ever comes, who knows, but having important voices like Kerr and Jackson speaking on it only extends the discussion.