18 Current and Former NBA Players Who Smoke Weed

In previous eras, NBA players who smoke weed have faced significant contractual risks. But the NBA released its latest Collective Bargaining Agreement in April of 2023. The new CBA includes an amendment relaxing the NBA’s stance on marijuana consumption. Effective July 1, 2023, marijuana no longer appears on the NBA’s Prohibited Substances List.

However, in 2020, the league suspended in-season testing for marijuana consumption. And some players have suggested that weed has gone from open secret to accepted truth. The new CBA adjustments should serve to remove any teeth that the previous marijuana restrictions may have still had.

Even before the NBA relaxed marijuana restrictions, there have been plenty of examples of NBA players a the highest levels openly using or admitting to the use of marijuana. Let’s cover some of the most notable examples of NBA players who smoke weed.

Current NBA Players Who Smoke Weed

LeBron James

In his autobiographical book Shooting Stars, James mentions some casual marijuana use in his late teens. I don’t see why LeBron wouldn’t also casually enjoy some weed in his adult years, although apparently he favors a glass of red wine for winding down.

His son Bronny has also been known to smoke weed. In 2020, Bronny ‘accidentally’ shared a video of himself smoking a blunt to social media. The video was quickly deleted.

Kevin Durant

KD appeared on Netflix’s “My Guest Needs No Introduction” with David Letterman in 2022. The pair discuss marijuana use and Kevin admits to Dave that he is, “high right now”.

Kevin is partnered with WeedMaps, so it’s no wonder he would use his platform to touch on the topic of athleticism and marijuana use. It should be noted that the new CBA doesn’t allow for the promotion of marijuana products, but apparently WeedMaps is more of a tool for finding marijuana products than a marijuana product itself.

Klay Thompson

About 30 minutes into episode 156 of the All The Smoke Podcast Klay describes his experience getting ‘rolled for a dime bag’ in college, not long before the draft.

They got him on a broken tail light pulling into his own driveway. He let them search his vehicle and they found a small stash in the glove compartment. Another of the many reasons you never allow the police to search your vehicle without a warrant. Make them get a warrant!

Considering it was national news, and Klay got dragged, this could have been a career ending event. Luckily, it just dropped him to a #11 Warriors pick. Ended up working out I think.

LaMelo Ball

LaMelo Ball looks stoned

So, I wasn’t aware of this prior to writing this article, but apparently a video of LaMelo smoking a blunt went viral in 2022, just before his Charlotte Hornets faced the Atlanta Hawks in the play-in.

I’m not gonna share the video, just because it’s stupid. It’s just not even interesting at all, and looks kinda fake.

For what it’s worth, the Hornets lost to the Hawks, but LaMelo had a decent showing.

Alex Caruso

Alex Caruso's mug shot

In 2021, the “Bald Mamba,” himself was booked on possession. He was apparently visiting his alma mater, Texas A&M when he was busted by an overzealous campus cop. Apparently his defensive skills failed him.

There was a minor outpouring of support from hoopers, including teammate LeBron and fellow campus police collar JJ Reddick, during his brief detention. Still, I question the logic of entering a Texas college campus with a controlled substance on your person.

JJ Reddick

Back in 2003, when Reddick was still at Duke, he was part of a little incident that involved some other Duke athletes, the smell of marijuana, and some homemade smoking paraphernalia. Reddick was cleared of all wrong doing in the incident.

I think it’s safe to say he has used marijuana in his lifetime. I think it’s also safe to say he’s not against it.

Draymond Green

I mean, it seems possible that Draymond does not himself partake….

However, about 10 years after that tweet, at Draymond’s wedding, there was reportedly a ‘blunt rolling station’. Hey, maybe it was just the trendy thing to do. And if you don’t partake, but you do, “got love for some ppl that do”, it makes sense to provide for your buds.

Former NBA Players Who Smoke Weed


I don’t see how you could know anything about this guy and not think he’s one of the greatest athletes of all time. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a superstar athlete in a time when his race, his religious choices, and his naturally introverted personality were all major strikes against him.

And he dealt with it all like a pro. I’d argue all day that Kareem was every bit the dominant athlete the world needed in the 1970’s. He was not his predecessors. He was himself.

That being said, he’s clearly not perfect, and he may have made a little mistake on the evening of July 19th, 2000. Kareem was pulled over for doing 52 MPH in a 35 MPH zone. The bike cop that pulled him over noticed a distinct smell in the legendary hooper’s vehicle and he was subsequently subjected to a field sobriety test, which he failed.

Kareem has mentioned his marijuana use in his autobiography Giant Steps. He was also arrested for possession in 1972 with his Bucks teammate Lucius Allen. Personally, I don’t think he needs an excuse, but he claims weed helps him manage his migraines.

Robert Parish

Robert Parish played in the NBA until he was 43 years old. There are only 2 other players who played this deep into their forties. They both kinda cheated.

In 1993, he had a little run-in with the law when a package containing several ounces of weed arrived at his Massachusetts residence addressed to him. He would later divulge in an interview with the Boston Globe that he occasionally used marijuana to relax after games.

Was it the weed that helped Parish stay viable in the league for so long? I dunno, but Kareem had a long career too. All I’m saying is it coulda helped.

Bill Walton

A lot of people these days know Walton as the loopy color commentator who seems obsessed with The Dead. Walton was an absolute beast in his college days with the legendary Wooden Bruins. If not for injury, Walton would likely have entered contention for NBA GOAT status.

I don’t know if there’s any hard evidence that he smokes weed, but Walton is an outspoken marijuana advocate, if his appreciation of Phish and The Dead were not strong enough indicators in themselves.

Steve Nash

In May of 2020, Nash appeared on episode 34 of the “All the Smoke” podcast with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. Nash explains that after retiring as a player, he discovered that weed was helpful in managing some sleeping issues he was dealing with.

In the interview, Nash goes on to theorize that marijuana will become an important feature in the average athlete’s tool kit in the near future. Nash acknowledges the stigma surrounding marijuana consumption, and believes that as the stigma dissipates, it will be better appreciated for the verified benefits it provides.

Worth it to note that while Nash does not admit to using weed as a player, he was probably a regular consumer as a coach.

Steve Kerr

The man, the myth, the legend… Steve Kerr has mentioned using marijuana to manage his back pain. And his comments have bordered on advocacy for the use of marijuana in pain management over pharmaceuticals.

Allen Iverson

AI was not one to shy away from controversy. You could say he played into it. That was the essence of his mystique. It probably shortened his career though.

Anyway, Allen Iverson was arrested for possession in 1997. He later claimed he had given up weed. If you’ve known someone who has given up weed, chances are they only did so temporarily.

That seems to have been the case with “The Answer” as he is now a partner in a marijuana brand called Viola. The story goes that the founder of the company told AI he should become a partner and AI agreed to do so if they could create a flower that tastes like Dom Perignon. The rest is history?

John Salley

John Salley is one of only 4 players to have won NBA titles with 3 different teams. He is also one of several players on this list who have ventured into the cannabis business.

Salley has launched his own premium cannabis brand called Deuces22. He’s also got an ownership stake in a cannabis testing company and serves on the advisory board for BudTrader.

Salley found weed towards the end of his career. He discusses this on the All The Smoke Pod. But his relationship with marijuana has made him something of a proponent for marijuana use in pain management and recovery in professional sports.

Stephen Jackson

Jackson claims he smoked weed on the regular throughout his time in the NBA, and occasionally before games. He now cohosts a podcast called “All the Smoke” which has obvious connotations. You should recognize that title from earlier in this list, as it is the podcast where Steve Nash admitted to using marijuana himself.

Jackson has a particularly entertaining story that involves Woody Allen rolling doobies with Owen Wilson while Kate Hudson and Jessica Alba slipped away to his bedroom where they could smoke in seclusion.

Matt Barnes

Stephen’s cohost on the “All the Smoke” podcast, Matt Barnes has been a vocal advocate of marijuana use in athletics. He claims he has used marijuana since the age of 14. He claims that he only tested positive twice during his tenure in the NBA, explaining that he reduced his consumption during the regular season to avoid the associated penalties.

Al Harrington

Former all-star Al Harrington is the founder that convinced Allen Iverson to get into the weed business. Al is the founder of Viola and other cannabis-related ventures.

Lamar Odom

Lamar Odom, of Kardashian fame, is a known proponent of drug use and abuse. He’d probably prefer something harder, but he has been known to consume marijuana. Reportedly, some of his Clippers teammates have suggested he was high for every game.

J.R. Smith

J.R. was called out multiple times by Rihanna for his partying. That partying certainly included marijuana consumption. Smith has openly admitted heavy marijuana use during his time in the league, and often on the NBA court.

Some suggest that the real reason Smith bone-headedly dribbled out the time clock in a finals game against the Warriors back in 2018 is because he was high. The game probably wouldn’t have got the Cavs the title, but it could have at least kept them from a brutal sweep.

Larry Sanders

I find this one to be incredibly interesting. A first round draft pick in 2010, Sanders received multiple NBA suspensions due to marijuana-positive drug tests during his 5 years in the league.

Considering that the NBA has long been woefully behind in its drug testing practices, it seems almost reasonable to assume that Sanders did not care if the NBA had evidence of his marijuana use.

Seems kinda crazy, but Sanders’ exit from the NBA displays a similar sense of apathy regarding athletic opportunities afforded him. As he explains, it’s not so much apathy, as a refusal to compromise to responsibilities prescribed by the league.

Sanders’ exit began with a voluntary leave of absence from the Bucks, explaining a desire to explore other opportunities, one of which apparently included producing beats with Canadian artist PARTYNEXTDOOR. When he later returned to play for the Cavs, he was waived relatively quickly for what Cavs management described as issues with punctuality.

I don’t blame the guy, honestly. I’m sure playing in the NBA would have it’s moments and you can’t just write off that potential for generational wealth. But it is a job, and jobs absolutely suck.

Still, this is a guy who basically just willingly passed on participation in one of the great NBA finals showdowns of all time. The Cavs would go on to battle the Warriors in 2017, that same year he missed the bus in April.

Does Weed make you a better basketball player?

I mean, no, of course not. But maybe. It’s complicated. There don’t appear to be any performance enhancing benefits to marijuana consumption. Nonethetless, the USADA considers marijuana a PED.

But we’ve just shown that basketball players, at the highest levels, have found marijuana beneficial for a variety of reasons. So what’s the deal?

Well, the ties between marijuana and basketball are deep. Basketball is an improvisational sport. It’s a sport that rewards the ability to embrace a moment and deliver just what that specific moment requires.

And some consider weed an improvisational lubricant. Among the many anecdotal benefits and drawbacks of marijuana consumption, is the tendency to promote divergent thought. Essentially, stoners say, marijuana can enhance creativity on the fly.

But this doesn’t actually seem to be the case. Studies have suggested that marijuana actually has the opposite effect, restricting divergent thought. If players are using marijuana to enhance creativity on the court, they may not have the right idea.

It’s also commonly believed that marijuana and it’s derivatives can aid in athletic recovery. When you’re maxing out against the greatest athletes on the planet 100+ times in a year, efficient recovery can be a massive advantage. The evidence here is still pretty flimsy though. There are likely far more efficient ways to optimize athletic recovery.

So then, maybe it’s just fun?


Marijuana is no panacea. It has some serious and well-documented downsides. But it also has some benefits, and marijuana is a culturally and societally beloved substance.

Basketball players like smoking weed as much as the rest of us. And if a professional athlete who has worked incredibly hard to get where they are, wants to relax with a blunt now and then, I say go for it.

So while we’ve covered a few of the more vocal and more notable NBA players who smoke weed, there are certainly more pot smokers in the NBA ranks. As the NBA’s contractually imposed drawbacks for consuming marijuana are weakened, it’ll be fascinating to see how marijuana use in the NBA changes.