Don Nelson and Stephen Jackson are two of the most colorful characters to ever spend time with the Golden State Warriors organization.
Jackson, known for his candidness, shared some amazing stories about his former head coach on the most recent episode of the I Am Rapaport podcast with Michael Rapaport. Jackson, who was coached by Nelson from 2007-09, began by detailing an evening where he, Nelson, one of Nelson’s friends and Baron Davis, drank “two to three bottles of MaCallan 12 (whisky)” a few days before the start of the upcoming season. Then Jackson explained how excited Nelson was when he found out that Jackson and Davis could smoke weed again, after taking their final drug of the season.
Nobody knows this story, so this is the first time somebody is hearing this. We’re in Utah and the drug test people are around, you know, to get our last drug test so we can smoke, right? Don Nelson, we talked about weed all the time, he was cool with talking about weed. We got our last test in Utah, right? So me and Baron are coming out the locker room just screaming, excited with our last pink slip saying we could smoke for the rest of the season and Don Nelson hauls ass down there giving us hi-fives like, “yeah, we can smoke now!” It was cool, the fact that he knows what’s going on off the court with his players, which was great man. We enjoyed it. That’s why we were a great team.
Jackson went on to honestly discuss smoking weed throughout his career, and how it affected him on the court:
I can’t speak for nobody else. Me personally, I’ve done a lot of shit before games sometimes and still was able to go out there and be productive. I just gotta be real, you know, it’s been a couple games where I smoked before games and had great games. It’s been some games where I smoked before the game and was on the bench after three minutes sitting on the sideline, ‘please calm down, this high has to calm down,’ I done shot three shots that went over the backboard, like, I’m going to be honest, like ‘ahh, I gotta calm down.’
You can listen to the full interview here