Kenyon Martin says '85 percent of the league' smoked marijuana during his NBA career
Some of Martin's fellow NBA retirees, as well as ex-NFL players, say coaches and GMs are smokers, too
A week after Martellus Bennett estimated that " " of NFL players smoke marijuana, Kenyon Martin, a former No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft, says pro basketball players are using weed just as regularly.
Speaking with former players like Matt Barnes and Al Harrington for Bleacher Report's "B/R x 4/20" special that dropped on Friday for 4/20, Martin said that he thinks "85 percent of the league" smoked during his career from 2000-2015.
"It was a lot," he said, echoing comments from Barnes and Harrington.
Harrington said he became a recreational smoker while he played for the Warriors, but came to believe in the medicinal benefits of cannabis when he offered his grandmother some to help ease the pain of her glaucoma.
"She started crying, crying tears, and she's like, 'I'm healed.'" he said. "She's like, 'You know I haven't been able to read the words in my bible in over three years.'"
Both medical and recreational marijuana, of course, is prohibited by the NBA, as well as the other major professional sports leagues. But Martin and the other athletes who spoke to Bleacher Report, all of whom consumed marijuana at some point during their interview, suggested that players aren't the only ones violating league rules when they smoke.
"The GMs, coaches, presidents, like ... it goes deeper than what you think," said Barnes, who last played for the Golden State Warriors in 2017. "Some of the people that are cracking whips and suspending us are smoking weed."
Barnes said he smoked a joint before nearly every NBA game he played over 14 seasons. Former NFL players, including Ryan Clady, Bo Scaife and Shaun Smith, were also part of the discussion and advocated for marijuana use.
Smith, a defensive lineman who played for five different NFL teams in nine seasons, including two different stints with the Bengals, said he used to smoke "two blunts before every game." He also got his fellow NFL retirees laughing when asked about how NFL players felt after they passed their annual drug test at OTAs.
"Shoot, coaches do it. Personnel does it, people upstairs do it," Smith said. "Quarterbacks, guys that are your captains, leaders of the team smoke.
"Everybody has their reason. They do it for their pain."
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