Many of you may remember 4/20/20, a vastly different time in our lives. It was the height of early quarantine, Tiger King and Outer Banks were the rage, TikTok was growing exponentially as boredom levels peaked, and life without sports was the brutal reality all across the world. On a slightly less significant note, also on such day, I released an article about the 5 biggest stoners in NFL history. To nobody’s surprise, Josh Gordon came in first, thanks to countless suspensions, rehab stints, and failed reinstatement attempts.
Now, a year later, much has changed, but April the 20th is still a day of celebration for stoners and casual smokers worldwide. As the stigma around marijuana lessens, more and more people feel comfortable expressing their herbal endeavors, especially former pro athletes. Whether legal or not, nothing has stopped weed enthusiasts from blazing it up on 4/20, a defiant characteristic they share with these 5 upcoming ballers. If you’re feeling a little anxious from this long introduction, I got the perfect remedy for you; it’s time to light up and get right in.
5. Gary Payton
While Payton’s marijuana usage during his playing days pales in comparison to the other four candidates (at least in terms of public knowledge), he is the only one on this venerable list to make ventures in the cannabis industry. The 2006 NBA Champion and Hall of Famer is best known for his time with the Seattle Supersonics, but since retiring Payton has spent time cultivating some top-shelf bud. “The Glove” partnered with Cookies recently to release his own strain, a hybrid simply known as “Gary Payton.” Gary Payton is great for relaxation and in high demand, selling for as high as $70 per eighth.
4. Dion Waiters
Like Gary Payton (the person, not the strain), Waiters doesn’t make this list because of an illustrated past with marijuana, but rather for one quite infamous incident. On a Miami Heat team flight from Phoenix, Waiters suffered a panic attack induced by too many THC gummies, resulting in a 10 game suspension. Call it greening out, tweaking, geeking, spazzing, or whatever verbiage you use, Waiters was in an unfortunate situation, but it’s a prime reason to bring back this iconic Stephen A Smith clip.
3. JR Smith
A man more well known for a suspected association with Hennessy liquor, JR Smith earns the prestigious bronze medal of baked ballers thanks to a “resting stoned face.” In addition to his narrow-eyed and relaxed appearance, Smith is renowned for making dumb mistakes in basketball games, prompting fans to mock Smith for “acting high.” Also, JR Smith began trending on Twitter after the NBA announced the conclusion of player drug tests for marijuana. There have been a few minor reports of Smith consuming the ganja and nothing is confirmed, but without question, Smith is known as one high guy in the NBA community.
2. Matt Barnes
As I alluded to earlier, more former professional athletes are opening up about marijuana usage, one of which is Matt Barnes. Barnes is arguably the most well-rounded candidate for this illustrious list. He started toking at the age of 14 and never looked back, finding ways to (mostly) pass drug tests in order to smoke and play ball. Matt Barnes even claims to have played his best games while “medicated,” a revealing truth not many ex-athletes are comfortable stating. Currently, Barnes is working with Eaze on social reform surrounding cannabis and minorities.
1. Michael Beasley
Like JR Smith, Beasley somehow always looks high, and a quick background check on the 32-year-old, who last played in China in 2019, reveals a half dozen incidents involving the devil’s lettuce. Whether it be a failed drug test or a bag of weed found during a traffic stop, nothing tops Beasley’s classic “high moment” from 2009. The self-proclaimed “walking bucket” posted a picture of his new back tattoo to Twitter, accidentally revealing an alleged bag of grass in the background. Beasley entered rehab a few days later.