Matt Barnes played 15 years in the NBA and ended his career winning a championship with the Golden State Warriors at the end of the 2017 NBA season. In some circles Barnes may be known more for the ongoing drama with his ex-wife Gloria Govan as it plays out on the VH1 series Basketball Wives. Barnes recently sat down with Bleacher Report and discussed his marijuana use during his playing career.
Heedless of the NBA drug testing policy, Barnes talked about not only using cannabis during the regular season, but specifically on game days. Barnes stated that “All my best games I was medicated.”
For Matt Barnes his game day ritual looked something like, early morning shoot around, head home to smoke a blunt, grab a nap, shower and eat a meal.
Bleacher Report has gathered former NFL and NBA players that are cannabis advocates to discuss the impact and benefits of weed in sports. Other players working with Bleacher Report regarding cannabis include Al Harrington, Cuttino Mobley and Kenyon Martin.
During his 15-year NBA career, Matt Barnes developed a reliable game day routine. First there was the morning shoot-around. Then he’d go home for a rest, where he’d do what so many NBA players do during those long afternoons: nap, shower, eat a meal.
But before all that, he’d smoke a joint.
“It wasn’t every single game, but in 15 years, it was a lot,” Barnes told Bleacher Report in a roundtable discussion about marijuana use in sports published this week.
“All my best games I was medicated,” Barnes said.
Bleacher Report in recent weeks convened multiple gatherings of former NBA and NFL players who use marijuana both for recreational and medicinal purposes, or who want pro sports leagues to relax their restrictions on its use. The publication published the videos — including clips of the ex-athletes smoking — on April 20 (something of a holiday in the cannabis community), saying it’s “time to break the stigma.” Among the players who participated: former NBA players Barnes, Al Harrington, Cuttino Mobley and Kenyon Martin, and former NFL players Shaun Smith, Ryan Clady, Bo Scaife and John Moffitt.
Reports of widespread marijuana use among pro athletes aren’t new, nor are calls for a relaxation of its restriction in sports leagues. Newly retired tight end Martellus Bennett recently told Chris Simms and Adam Lefkoe on their podcast that “about 89 percent” of NFL players use marijuana, and that they turn to it as a natural alternative to prescription painkillers. Scaife, who played tight end in the league for six seasons, put the number at about 80 percent.