Mitch McGary on lesson of marijuana suspension that sent him to NBA: ‘Don’t get caught’

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Mitch McGary didn’t declare for the NBA draft on his own terms.

Facing a year-long suspension by the NCAA for failing a single marijuana test, the then-Michigan center concluded – wisely – he should turn pro.

And it’s worked well for him.

McGary was drafted No. 21 by the Thunder. Not only is he making millions of dollars, he joined one of the NBA’s top teams. Depending on Scott Brooks’ Kendrick Perkins fascination, McGary might even have a chance to join Steven Adams in Oklahoma City’s center rotation.

Recently, McGary spoke with Vice Sports about his experience:

I get people on Twitter and Instagram still commenting and stuff saying, ‘Oh, You did drugs.’

Well, you know what? I did. Whatever. So what? I learned from it.

It was in college. They’ll understand when they’re in college – or after that. Whatever.

It happens, and hopefully some kids can learn from it. But just don’t get caught.

Good for McGary.

All along, he’s handled this well. Just because the NCAA has ridiculous rules – you can read about more about them here – doesn’t mean he should bow to his punishing overlords. I’m not defending what McGary did, but smoking weed is not out of line for a Michigan student (or even criminalized in Ann Arbor), and he shouldn’t have faced such draconian penalties.

But as McGary brushes off his incident, it’s important to remember not all the athletes who’ve gotten stuck in the NCAA’s bureaucracy can laugh about it. McGary is positioned to do so because he made it out unscathed, but others have their careers ended by this nonsense.

Remember that when Adam Silver proposes raising the age limit and giving the NCAA even more power.