Most professional athletes have pregame rituals they adhere to during their careers. For some, it’s doing a certain warmup routine, eating a certain meal or listening to a certain music playlist. But for former Sacramento Kings forward Matt Barnes, getting ready for games included smoking weed.
The 38-year-old made the admission in a recent Bleacher Report roundtable discussion, where former NBA players talked about using marijuana during their careers.
“From high school, to college, to the pros. … What I would do is we would have shoot-around, I’d go home, smoke a joint, take a nap, wake up, take a shower,” Barnes said. “Shower was important, shower would wake me back up — eat, and go to the game. All my best games I was medicated. It wasn’t every single game, but in 15 years, it was a lot.”
Barnes also said that marijuana helped him cope with the pain that invariably accompanies a career in professional sports.
“I just knew that ‘I’ma hit that, my back’s gonna feel better, my toe’s gonna feel better, my fingers, I had broke all my fingers, my finger’s gonna be all right.’ I just knew that tomorrow’s gonna be a cool day,” he said.
A standout player at UCLA from 1998-2002, Barnes was selected 46th overall in the 2002 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies. He played for 12 teams during his career, retiring from the NBA this past December.