If you didn’t know any better, you might have confused the NBA “bubble” of 2020 with a weed dispensary. One of the players that year, J.R. Smith, didn’t blow smoke when discussing bubble life, which apparently involved as many joints as jams.
Though the players, coaches, and team personnel were tested for COVID daily, the league dropped its policy of testing for recreational drugs while teams were hunkered down in the bubble.
“We was blowing (marijuana) down in there,” Smith said when asked on the All The Smoke podcast if marijuana use was prevalent in the bubble. “That was the only way you could really function in (the bubble).”
J.R. Smith on the the Bubble: "We Was Blowing It Down In There" pic.twitter.com/JLBNBThBVG
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Smith pointed out that the league’s decision to allow players to smoke in the bubble removes a long-standing misconception about weed and its effect on athletic performance, telling hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, “I’m glad it happened because it finally broke that barrier and that stigma that you couldn’t play and all of this, it was a drug, it was this and that.”
He thinks that weed shouldn’t be considered taboo for athletes, especially since, unlike alcohol, it can even calm a player’s nerves.
“Stop making it seem like it’s alcohol or something,” said Smith. “You know you ain’t out there playing drunk just getting 60 (points) like that.”
He’s got a point. Three players scored 50 points or more while in the Orlando bubble, despite the rampant weed use. In one particular matchup, Damian Lillard put up 61.
Which leads us to believe players were more likely to puff, puff than pass.
Smith continued: “When you can be at peace with your mind, with your body, with your soul and you can go out there and just hoop, that’s all you want.”
While in the bubble, Smith was a member of the Lakers, the team that walked away NBA Champs. Because of the unique situation that year — COVID protocols, no fans, player opt-outs, etc. — critics have continuously discredited the validity of that title.
In other words, it’s a tokin’ championship.
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