The big problem is that the league is only allowed to test players 4 times during a season. Because testing is randomized, the last test can be administered as early as January, and the season lasts for months thereafter. As one recently-retired NBA player put it, after the 4th test, “It’s like Christmas Day. We can take whatever we want.”
One NBA-connected source says pot is “ubiquitous” in the sport. The source adds, however, that most athletes who indulge do so in moderation so it doesn’t have a perceptible impact on their performance. An NBA rep tells us … weed is not only prevalent, it’s hardly hidden — he says the hotel rooms where the players stay, and even the halls, have the telltale smell. The players we’ve spoken with all agree … pot is prevalent. But some of the players say Lean — Sprite and Codeine cough syrup — has become a recreational drug of choice during the season. One player said it was even used during the recent playoffs.
One current and famous player tells TMZ, he estimates 30% of his fellow NBAers use hard drugs — including Molly, Ecstasy, and Lean — at some point during the season. He says he’s never been aware of anyone doing cocaine during the season. Another current and famous player tells us he estimates only 10% of NBA players use hard drugs, and no one uses cocaine during the season — it’s too risky. He also says Lean is a drug of choice.
An NBA source agrees — he estimates 10-15% of the players use hard drugs during the season.
One NBA insider believes the drug use problem has gotten better over the last 5 years because of social media. He says players have been burned because pictures of them doing things they shouldn’t be show up on Instagram and Facebook, and it’s inhibited them.