The Best Stoner Athletes

Sean EvansContributor IIINovember 23, 2013

The Best Stoner Athletes

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    Former Detroit Lion Lomas Brown made headlines last year when he estimated that at least half of NFL players use marijuana. In 1997, a story from the New York Times suggested similar numbers for the NBA, which were derived by speaking to players, agents and front office executives.

    Like going bankrupt and performance-enhancing drugs, bong hits are an undeniable reality in today's sports culture. And, judging by some of the incredibly accomplished names on this list, you're just as likely to find a bag of nuggets in an MVP's glove box as you are in a liberal arts college dorm room. 

Bill Lee

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    Bill Lee is what happens when you mix Matthew McConaughey's unapologetically liberated spirit with the extracurricular activity of Rihanna's Instagram feed. 

    The aptly nicknamed "Spaceman" famously claimed to sprinkle marijuana on his pancakes as reported by Deadspin and even appeared on the cover of High Times in 1980.

    Dope-based notoriety aside, Lee was also a pretty good pitcher. From 1973 to 1975, Lee recorded three consecutive 17-win seasons for the Boston Red Sox, and made an appearance in the '73 MLB All-Star Game.

Stephon Marbury

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    The video sharing platform Livestream is to Stephon Marbury as press conferences are to Toronto mayor Rob Ford. 

    In 2009, Starbury released a series of bizarre clips, which included an unsolicited endorsement of Vaseline and this especially casual pull from a joint. He later confirmed to TMZ that he was indeed smoking marijuana.

    While his career is marred by off-the-court missteps, the Brooklyn native vaunts a pair of NBA All-Star Game appearances and a 2012 Chinese Basketball Association championship with the Beijing Ducks.

Dwayne Bowe

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    So far, 2013 has been a banner year for the Kansas City Chiefs franchise and an utter nightmare for the team's most distinguished player.

    Despite his $56 million contract, Dwayne Bowe ranks 69th in the NFL in receiving yards and he was arrested last week with more than 16 grams of marijuana in his car, as per the Kansas City Star.

    According to the police report, Bowe copped to smoking "a little" and asked one of the arresting officers if a nearby Sonic was still open. SMH. 

Rasheed Wallace

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    Rabble-rousing was as much a part of Rasheed Wallace's game as aggressive box outs. 

    So, when he reportedly admitted to smoking weed in a car with then-teammate Damon Stoudamire in 2002 as per Sports Illustrated, it was about as shocking as Bruce Jenner's plastic surgery revelation

    But with an NBA championship in 2004 and four All-Star Game appearances, the occasional toke didn't stop Wallace from achieving greatness on the basketball court.

Michael Vick

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    In September 2007, things went from catastrophically bad to, somehow, worse for Michael Vick.

    In the legal equivalent to spilling bleach on a car's interior after backing it into a brick wall, the Falcons quarterback tested positive for marijuana while facing a five-year prison sentence for his role in a dog fighting ring.

    While his promising career was derailed by deplorable off-the-field decisions, Vick returned to the NFL in 2009 and won the league's Comeback Player of the Year award in 2010.

Tim Lincecum

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    Tim Lincecum won his second straight Cy Young Award in 2009, and apparently the celebration bled into the offseason. 

    The San Francisco Giants right-hander was pulled over in his suburban Seattle hometown and ticketed for having a little over three grams of marijuana in his car

    In the wake of The Freak's run-in with the law, fans orchestrated a "Let Timmy Smoke" campaign, which can be seen on supportive T-shirts throughout AT&T Park during baseball season.

Ricky Williams

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    Many athletes use high-powered attorneys and fall guys to duck accusations of marijuana use, but Ricky Williams—to his credithas been surprisingly forthright about his hobby.

    After failing a handful of drug tests between 2003 and 2004, Williams took a hiatus from the game. 

    While his decision to leave the Miami Dolphins was widely condemned by football talking heads, Williams described the extended vacation as an opportunity to seek treatment for his anxiety disorder.

Robert Parish

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    Like many before him, Robert Parish was busted for possession when drug-sniffing dogs detected marijuana in a package addressed to his home as reported by the LA Times

    The discovery triggered a search warrant of the seven-footer's residence, where an additional stash of sticky was recovered

    Despite his seemingly ardent appetite for green, The Chief vaunts four NBA championships, nine All-Star Game appearances and an induction to the Hall of Fame in 2003.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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    The '70's bodybuilding documentary, Pumping Iron, has many memorable scenes. But, chief among them (so to speak) is Arnold Schwarzenegger's tranquil puff from a joint.

    Countless athletes have smoked marijuana over the years, but Schwarzenegger might be the only one who had enough clout to affect the drug's legality.

    While serving as the governor of California in 2010, Austrian Oak reduced the charge of marijuana possession from a misdemeanor crime to a civil infraction. 

Randy Moss

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    Randy Moss was one of the most highly recruited high school football players in the country, and his decision to walk on at Marshall University had nothing to do with the school's heralded student-teacher ratio.

    As a redshirt freshman at Florida State University, Moss was kicked off the team for violating his probation by smoking pot

    With few options, Moss ended up in the Mid-American Conference where he piled up over 1,800 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns during the '97 season. His NFL career was pretty good, too. 

Michael Phelps

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    In 2009, Michael Phelps was photographed in the throes of a bong rip at a University of South Carolina house party. 

    Considering his freakish lung capacity, Phelps' exhale probably triggered a fog warning throughout the greater Columbia area.

    Thedare I saycontrived controversy related to the photograph is one of the only blemishes in Phelps' extraordinary career, which includes an all-time Olympic record 18 gold medals. 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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    The NBA's all-time scoring leader has been caught with marijuana twice, once when he surrendered a small amount to customs officials at a Toronto airport as per AP and again in 2000 for driving under the influence as reported by Sports Illustrated

    After 20 seasons of battling for post position in the NBA, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar probably deserves a relaxing trip to space every now and again.