In the 2020 Orlando bubble, NBA players employed many methods to keep themselves occupied. Apparently, that even included smoking some green.
In an appearance on "All The Smoke" podcast, former NBA sharpshooter J.R. Smith let it slip that players used Marijuana to get by and that it "broke the barrier" within the league at the time.
Matt Barnes: "Question. Since it's pretty much legal now in the NBA, you don't have to mention no names, was tree in the air in the bubble?"
J.R. Smith: "Aw yeah. We was blowing it down in there."
Barnes: "Was you? I knew it!"
Smith: "That was the only way you could really function in that joint."
Stephen Jackson: "Remember we was on FaceTime, you was rolling up and telling us how miserable you was when you was in the bubble?"
Smith: "It was cool, 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. But when you go to the bubble basketball, some of them dudes was — granted, it was like practice games and some of 'em really can't play that well in front of 30,000 — but at the same time you saw some of the best level of basketball."
Traditionally, the NBA has always been anti-weed. There used to be routine tests and screenings for the drug, with penalties ready for anyone who was revealed to have it in their system.
The 2020 bubble changed all of that. Seemingly knowing the mental and emotional toll quarantine would have on players, the league decided to stop testing for marijuana, and it has been the case ever since.
No matter how you feel about weed, it's a good thing that players were able to find some relief amid a difficult and stressful time. Now, it seems marijuana use has become something that is widely accepted in the NBA community.
Perhaps the Orlando bubble wasn't as bad as we all thought...