Steve Kerr’s revelation that he used marijuana to combat chronic back pain has inspired a wide-ranging discussion on the topic, both in private and in public, over the past few days. Fellow NBA head coach Earl Watson has since condemned the use of marijuana, even for medical purposes, and referred to Kerr’s comments as “rhetoric.” Moreover, Klay Thompson, who happens to play for Kerr as a member of the Golden State Warriors, supported his head coach, but also made sure to comment negatively about marijuana use for recreational purposes.
On Tuesday, New York Knicks president Phil Jackson appeared on We Need To Talk on the CBS Sports Network. He was asked about the medicinal use of marijuana and the discussion brought on by Kerr, who played for him in Chicago. With that, Jackson had this to say:
“[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.”
Jackson’s reference to medical use took place more than 40 years ago, which needs to be mentioned. However, there have also been previous references in Jackson’s past to recreational drugs, and that could place a bit of a shadow over his public thoughts concerning the overarching topic.
At this point, it seems (very) clear that a split exists between people who would support marijuana as a medicinal drug for those in and around the NBA, while others stand in firm opposition. The debate rages on, and odds are there is no end in sight.
(Via CBS Sports)