Mitch McGary

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5 Out podcast: Mitch McGary makes case for NBA permitting use of marijuana

Nick Friar
September 18, 2019 - 7:30 am
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With all the pain football players endure over the course of each individual season and their career, the legalization of marijuana in the NFL has become a major discussion.

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Whether it’s Josh Gordon’s usage in the past or Rob Gronkowski getting in the business of Cannabidiol-based pain-relief medications — something Tom Brady thinks the NFL should consider legalizing — it’s in the league’s face constantly.

But what about the other professional leagues, like the NBA?

Adam Silver has expressed in the past both the league and the NBPA have looked into the science behind using marijuana medically. As recently as December of last year, the NBA commissioner didn’t feel there was enough evidence to support legalization within the league.

“There's not as much, frankly, science out there as I would have thought, in terms of the medical efficacy of using medical marijuana,” Silver said on Bleacher Report’s The Full 48. “I don't mean to suggest that the people who say it's effective for them, that it's not. ... It's like a lot of issues we deal with in the league. It's a balancing of issues."

Former Oklahoma City Thunder forward and 2014 first-round draft pick Mitch McGary explained on WEEI.com’s 5 Out why the league needs to be ahead of the curve.

“Football, you see them taking hits. Obviously, the physicality is there,” McGary said. “Basketball, the physicality is just as much — without the pads. We’re out there, we’re going at each other. I’m 265 (pounds) going up against Z-Bo (Zach Randolph) who’s 285. I’m taking elbows to the ribs and (expletive). (To) expect me to not have anything after the game, guys need something to cope with the pain instead of all these prescription drugs that are bad for you.”

McGary also sees benefits beyond the physical side. The Indiana native feels legalization can help players from a mental standpoint, especially those cast into the limelight as the NBA’s drama continues to dominate the news cycle.

“(Basketball) very stressful, in terms of the mental aspect of it. Guys are really put on a pedestal in the NBA,” McGary said. “I hate to say that, but everybody sees our face and everybody’s tall. People view use differently. They treat us differently. They don’t treat us like normal human beings. … it’s hard for guys to cope with that. Like KD (Kevin Durant), he doesn’t like the superstardom, and that’s what I’m talking about. That’s another thing. Guys probably don’t like that. I certainly didn’t like that and that’s why I turned to marijuana.”

Listen to McGary’s full interview on this week’s BONUS EPISODE of 5 Out to hear his thoughts on Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, the idea of a comeback and more.

In addition to the Radio.com app, 5 Out is also available on iTunes, Spotify and Stitcher. Feel free to DM us with any questions or #MedeirosMailbag contributions.

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