Paul Pierce weed
Photo: boston.com

Like regular cannabis users, professional athletes also enjoy a toke from time to time. Marijuana is said to improve focus, reduce pre-game anxiety, and calm nervous jitters. Is it a surprise there are plenty of basketball players who smoke weed?

Wondering which of your favorite team members enjoy smoking buds grown from easy beginner seeds and other marijuana varieties? Keep reading to discover 17 basketball players who smoke cannabis.

17 Weed-smoking Basketball Players 

The National Basketball Association stopped testing players for marijuana during the 2020–21 season. This policy continued in the 2021–22 season, with many speculating that cannabis drug tests will remain suspended in future seasons.

As a result, there are plenty of NBA players who smoke weed. Ready to find out who the most prominent canna-friendly athletes are?

Here are 17 current and former basketball players that have smoked marijuana:

1. J.R. Smith

This former shooting guard retired from professional basketball in 2020. After his departure, J.R. Smith revealed that he was among one of many NBA players who smoke weed—although this wasn’t much of a secret.

In 2012, he was spotted holding a blunt while on vacation with Rihanna. Some fans even thought J.R. Smith was high during Game One of the 2018 NBA Finals. He infamously forgot the tied score and held the ball without doing anything while the clock ran out of time.

2. Michael Beasley

This professional athlete is widely regarded as one of the best freshmen college basketball players of the 2000s. He’s also been linked to heavy cannabis use. David Kahn once said Michael Beasley was a ‘kid who smoked too much marijuana.’

In 2008, police responded to a fire alarm in the hotel room of Beasley and two other NBA players who smoked weed. They noticed a strong cannabis smell but couldn’t find any tangible evidence. Michael Beasley was involved in several drug-related incidents from 2008 to 2019.

3. LeBron James

This athlete is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. He’s won four NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals, and many high-rise awards. Does LeBron James smoke marijuana?

In his book Shooting Stars, he admitted using cannabis in high school. He also described how he and his teammates once smoked weed in a hotel room. In 2013, LeBron James was seen with a concentrate pen vaporizer during the NBA Finals.

4. Lamar Odom

This retired athlete is undoubtedly one of the best-known basketball players who smoke weed. A quick online search reveals plenty of photos and videos of Lamar Odom consuming cannabis. He’s also been known to use other substances, including alcohol and cocaine.

His love of marijuana caused him plenty of heartache throughout his career. In 2001, reports surfaced that his drug abuse was the reason he lost the top spot in basketball. He also failed multiple NBA drug tests, with some Clippers fans alleging he smoked a joint before every game.

5. Allen Iverson

This former basketball star is among the best scorers of all time. He’s also thought to be one of the most influential players in NBA history. After retirement, Allen Iverson revealed that he used to be an NBA player who smoked weed in his early career.

In 1997, he and his friends were stopped by police for speeding during the off-season. The incident resulted in his arrest for carrying a concealed gun and possessing cannabis. He received a community service sentence.

6. Klay Thompson

This professional basketball player is credited with being one of the greatest shooters in NBA history. When Klay Thompson still had Twitter, he regularly posted Bob Marley quotes and talked about reggae music. Does Klay Thompson smoke weed, though?

In 2011, he was arrested for possessing cannabis in his car. When asked if he supported recreational use, Thompson responded that marijuana should solely be used for its medical benefits. He believes cannabis is extremely beneficial for those struggling with pain.

7. Matt Barnes

This former NBA player is one of the biggest cannabis advocates in pro sports. He’s been vocal about his marijuana use, making him one of the most well-known basketball players who smoke weed.

Matt Barnes started consuming cannabis when he was 14. He continued using it in college and as a professional athlete, recently revealing he still smokes marijuana to this day. Matt Barnes failed two drug tests during his career but said he smoked weed less during the season.

8. Stephen Jackson

This retired basketball player is close friends with Matt Barnes, which instantly implies that he’s another NBA player who smokes cannabis. The duo runs a weekly podcast titled All The Smoke With Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson.

Stephen Jackson admitted that he used to smoke weed before all his games to calm his nerves. He also said that his coach, Don Nelson, knew about it and would high-five players who cleared their drug tests.

9. Zach Randolph

This retired athlete, often called Z-Bo, is believed to be on the list of basketball players who smoke weed. Zach Randolph was involved in numerous incidents with cannabis, underage drinking, and physical altercations.

He was arrested for possessing marijuana with intent to sell in 2017. All charges were dropped, and he was only cited for delaying a police officer. Zach Randolph says a shady dealer almost scammed him in 2011 but he managed to get his goods unscathed.

10. Kevin Durant

This professional athlete is undoubtedly one of the top-rated players in the NBA. Aside from being a brilliant sportsman, he’s a huge marijuana activist and one of many basketball players who smoke weed. His ultimate goal is to destigmatize the use of weed in pro sports.

Kevin Durant currently serves on the advisory board of Canopy Rivers, a cannabis investment and acquisition company. He recently announced a partnership with an e-commerce marijuana website. Kevin Durant once posted a photo of himself smoking on Twitter but later claimed his account was hacked.

11. Larry Bird

There’s no hard evidence to prove that this legendary old-school NBA player smoked weed, but he certainly smoked cigarettes. Cannabis breeders even named a well-balanced hybrid marijuana strain after him.

Musician John Cougar Mellencamp said he regularly drank and smoked with Larry Bird and Kevin McHale after games. When former basketball player Al Harrington was asked if he thought his then-coach Larry Bird had ever smoked a joint, he responded yes.

12. Joakim Noah

This former professional basketball star is known for being one of the best defensive players of all time. There’s plenty of history between Joakim Noah and weed to assume he’s an avid marijuana consumer.

Reports say he was expelled from an exclusive Brooklyn high school for smoking weed as a teenager. In 2008, he was charged with possessing cannabis and an open bottle of alcohol in public. A few years later, Joakim Noah was spotted shopping for bongs.

13. Carmelo Anthony

This pro sports athlete was named one of the 75 greatest NBA players in history. Is Carmelo Anthony one of many basketball players who smoke weed? It’s believed he used pot regularly before making it big, with numerous marijuana-related incidents occurring during his career.

In 2004, Carmelo Anthony was cited for cannabis possession at Denver International Airport. He claimed it belonged to his friend, who later signed an affidavit to affirm this statement. Carmelo Anthony has also been linked to driving under the influence and brawling at games.

14. Rasheed Wallace

This former basketball player is known for his passion and intensity, which resulted in frequent run-ins with officials and opponents. He holds the league record for most technical fouls and ejections in a single season.

Rasheed Wallace was believed to be an NBA player who smoked weed. In 2001, he and his friends were pulled over for speeding on the way back from a game in Seattle. Officers found about 40 grams of cannabis in the car, and Rasheed Wallace agreed to a plea deal.

15. Vlade Divac

It’s a well-known fact that Vlade Divac constantly smoked cigarettes—he could be seen puffing away before and after games, at halftime, and during practice. He even lit one up as soon as he got off the plane when he landed in America for the first time.

This former professional basketball player hails from Serbia but spent most of his career playing in the NBA. What’s the verdict on Vlade Divac smoking marijuana? Some fans think he indulged in cannabis on the side, but there’s no real proof.

16. Steve Nash

This former basketball athlete was the first NBA player to carry the Olympic torch and light the Olympic cauldron. He’s a two-time winner of the Most Valuable Player award and participated in 18 seasons of the NBA.

Steve Nash was once asked if he consumes marijuana. His response was ‘I’m from Vancouver,’ which supposedly implies that he does. After retirement, Steve Nash revealed he’s one of many basketball players who smoke weed. He says he mainly uses indica strains to fall asleep.

17. Cliff Robinson

After retiring from professional sports, Cliff Robinson became an entrepreneur in the weed industry. He sold various cannabis products through his company Uncle Cliffy. He was a huge advocate for the legalization of marijuana and supported cannabis reform laws in various states.

This former NBA player smoked weed throughout his career. He used it to relieve anxiety, reduce pain, and avoid the unwanted side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Cliff Robinson stated that his lengthy and successful NBA career was mostly attributed to his regular marijuana use.

Puff, Puff, Shoot

Cannabis has plenty of recreational and medical benefits, so it’s no surprise that professional athletes also enjoy smoking marijuana. As cannabis continues to become an acceptable substance, the list of basketball players who smoke weed is likely to increase.

Want to support the marijuana legalization movement? Join cannabis activist groups, educate yourself and others, and vote for positive change. 

Douglas Kester

Douglas Kester, a cannabis growing expert at I49 Seed Bank. He has been working in the weed industry for more than 10 years. During that period, he built up a vast experience and depth of expertise in this field. Douglas has a detailed understanding of every aspect of marijuana, from its cultivation and species to the effects it brings. He’s also up to date on all the cannabis-related legislation nuances.