Time to open up the ol’ medicine cabinet and grab some sodium thiopental or maybe 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate for this list. TheSportster contacted their spies on the ground and we have injected a truth serum into the veins of 15 NBA basketball players. What they told us was shocking and we decided to share the information with you. We kid about using a truth serum on basketball players but we do have 15 secrets that you may want to know.
Everyone has their own dark secrets that they share with no one or maybe a select few. It’s human nature and secrets won’t go away unless we live in a dystopian future where all our thoughts are collected in a data bank. We’re looking at you, Facebook. Some people keep secrets so they don’t hurt another person’s feelings, others keep secrets because they’re too embarrassed by a certain situation. Many NBA players keep secrets because it could harm their professional careers. They can admit to something and the next thing you know they lost that sneaker deal or get suspended by the NBA.
You may not think a secret on this list isn’t bad but just put yourself in that person’s sneakers. Keep in mind their secret could have a stigma attached to it or could end a great relationship with a business or someone.
15 Phil Jackson: Admits To Smoking Marijuana
Arguably the greatest head coach of all-time, Phil Jackson admitted to smoking marijuana to treat back pain in an interview with CBS’ Sports James Herbet in 2016. You may not think this is a dark secret because Jackson has lived a large portion of his life in California and is called, “The Zen Master,” but the NBA still has a strict tolerance on marijuana use. Regardless of how many states legalize the substance, the NBA doesn’t want any of their members openly using and promoting the plant.
Jackson stated “We have tried to stop [marijuana use] in the NBA. I don’t think we have been able to stop it. I think it still goes on and is still a part of the culture in the NBA. It is something that we either have to accommodate or figure out another way to deal with it.”
14 Jalen Rose: Intentionally Injured Kobe
You may not think this is a big deal, but you’re also probably not a professional athlete in the NBA and don’t know the unwritten rules of their brotherhood. Jalen Rose was a great role player for several teams after being drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 1994. He would be involved in several playoff runs and in 2012, he admitted to doing something that was a big no-no in the league.
Rose would put his foot underneath Kobe Bryant as he jumped in the air for a shot in the 2000 NBA Finals. Bryant would then land on Rose’s foot and would sit out for most of Game 2 and Game 3. "I think I did it on purpose," Rose told Grantland.com. "I can't say that it was an accident."
13 Steve Kerr: Admits To Smoking Marijuana
Steve Kerr is either one lucky guy or is a basketball God posing as a human. Think about it, he somehow found himself on the Chicago Bulls when the greatest player ever, Michael Jordan, was in his prime. After winning four championships with the Bulls, he then won a championship with one of the greatest organizations ever, the San Antonio Spurs. It gets better, after deciding to get into coaching, Kerr had a choice between the New York Knicks and Golden State Warriors.
He picked the Warriors and the basketball Gods gave him a championship as well as Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green. The NBA rather you do not know about one of Kerr’s secrets that he admitted to. In 2016, he would admit to smoking marijuana to deal with chronic pain and even said in the interview he might get in trouble for talking about it.
12 Michael Sweetney: Eating Disorder
Michael Sweetney was on top of the world when the New York Knicks selected him with the ninth overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft. He would throw out the first pitch at a New York Mets game, be featured in the newspapers, and was treated as a king. Maybe all that comfort was the exact opposite of what Sweetney needed.
By 2007, Sweetney was out of the NBA and would fail to make the Boston Celtics after joining their summer team in 2009. Sweetney would battle weight issues his entire career and in 2015, he admitted to having an eating disorder due to clinical depression. No one wants to admit to having an eating disorder, especially if you have to explain to people you’re clinically depressed.
11 Kyrie Irving: Believes Earth Is Flat
Do you spend a lot of time listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast? If you do, then you probably know all about the “Flat Earth” conspiracy theory out there. If you don’t know, “Flat Earth” has made a comeback in mainstream culture after a hiatus for a couple of centuries. Appearing on the Road Trippin podcast this year, the outstanding point guard admitted to believing in the “Flat Earth” theory.
“It’s okay to have your own thoughts and be able to function and be able to formulate your own thoughts and opinions and still be able to convey them to other people,”said Irving. You may not think this is a big deal, however, he could lose out on endorsement deals, the respect of certain people who look down upon “Flat Earthers,”and may never be taken seriously in regards to conversations outside of basketball.
10 Larry Sanders: Marijuana Use, Depression
The lanky big man was selected by Milwaukee Bucks with the fifteenth pick in the 2010 NBA draft and has spent most of his career with the franchise. He would be known for his defense and rebounding skills but never turned in a star that could carry the team. His personal problems would spill over into his professional life when he was inactive on the Buck’s roster in December of 2014 for seven games.
In February of 2015, the Bucks would buy out his contract due to a second suspension from marijuana use. Sanders would then release a heartfelt video explaining he has been battling depression, anxiety, and mood disorders. He would enter a program that year and wouldn’t return to basketball until he signed with the Cleveland Cavilers in 2017.
9 Stephen Jackson: Marijuana Use Before Games
Stephen Jackson was selected in the second round of the 1997 NBA draft by the Phoenix Suns. It’s amazing he even reached the second round when you look at his career. He was never an All-Star and wasn’t the best player on his team, however, Jackson would be a great role player for many organizations, including the 2003 NBA champions, San Antonio Spurs. Jackson would retire in 2015 but wouldn’t come to admit that he smoked marijuana before games until 2017.
While on the podcast I am Rapaport hosted by Michael Rapaport, Jackson said, "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.” It may not be his darkest secret but it’s definitely something he couldn’t talk about while being affiliated with the NBA.
8 Metta World Peace: Drinking Alcohol During Games
Metta World Peace is an enigma wrapped in a quagmire and stuffed into a quandary. Or maybe he’s just crazy. Regardless of what you think of him, he's one of the better basketball players to come out of his draft when he was selected by the Chicago Bulls in 1999. He would help the Los Angeles Lakers win an NBA championship in 2010 and is arguably the best defender of his generation.
With that said, he has said and done a lot of things the NBA does not condone. We’re pretty sure he has more secrets than he shares but it was nice of him to be honest about one secret he had. In an interview with Sporting News magazine in 2009, he admitted to drinking alcohol during the halftime of games. The crazy part is he was still a member of the NBA when he said it.
7 Lamar Odom: Getting Caught In The Act
Lamar Odom would be selected by the Los Angeles Clippers with the fourth overall pick in the 1999 NBA draft. He won two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and a Sixth Man of the Year award in 2011. Odom had a lot of potential and skill but demons would plague him throughout his life. With his ties to the Kardashian family, Odom’s drug abuse would be on the front pages of many tabloids and websites around the world.
Odom would reveal a lot of dark secrets about his relationship with ex-wife, Khloe Kardashian in an interview this year. "She caught me in a sleazy motel room in L.A. getting high with this one girl," he told UsWeekly. "It was atrocious. Looking back, I'm like, "What are you doing?"
6 Chris Herren: Admitting To Drug Overdose
Drafted in the second round by the Denver Nuggets in 1999, Chris Herren would only play two seasons in the NBA before transitioning over to the international circuit. While a member of the Boston Celtics, Herren would be introduced to OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet. For Herren, these painkillers would be the gateway drugs to heroin. In 2004, he would be arrested for possession of heroin and eventually overdosed on the drug.
He also admitted to purchasing crystal meth to satisfy his vice. After rehabilitation, Herren tells everyone who’s willing to listen to his darkest secrets involving drugs. He formed The Herren Project and Project Purple in 2011 so he can bring awareness to the dangers of substance abuse as well as help those recovering from addiction.
5 Delonte West: Sleeping With Lebron's Mom
If you never knew about the saga between Delonte West and LeBron James, prepare to ask yourself in WWE’s Hurricane Helm’s voice, “Wasssup wit dat?” West and James were teammates on the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2008 to 2010. Within that time, West would be rumored to have slept with LeBron’s mother. The rumors went viral and the two obviously didn’t get along.
A lot of the details about the rumor have been hearsay and fluff, however, it was confirmed by West in an interview with Vice Sports. “I don’t want my son going to school and people making fun of him for something his daddy did,” said West. “Oh didn’t yo [sic] daddy have sex with LeBron James mama?’ Man, I don’t want to deal with all that.”
4 Winston Bennett: Intercourse Addict
Winston Bennett would be selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the third round of the 1988 NBA draft. He would play in the NBA for three seasons before moving onto the international circuit. He may be more known in the basketball world for being fired because he allegedly hit his own player while coaching at Kentucky State University in 2003.
ESPN would involve him in their program, Outside the Lines, and he would admit to his addiction to intercourse. “Three or four women in one day was typical for me. It was like a drug. I had to have more,” said Bennett. He would also admit to having dozens of affairs and giving his wife two different STDs. Remarkably, his wife has remained loyal to him for over two decades.
3 Michael Jordan: Admitted To Being Racist
The greatest NBA player ever, Michael Jordan, admitted to being racist towards white people during his youthful years in 2014. For the African American community or black people around the world in general, this probably isn’t much of a shock, nor should it be a deep secret, however, many people still live inside a bubble and don’t understand the complexities of racial issues. Jordan said, "I was really rebelling. I considered myself a racist at the time. Basically, I was against all white people."
Jordan exposed himself and opened up a wound that will never be easy to close and that’s why it’s considered a dark secret. As an owner of an NBA franchise, he could or has lost out on business deals and relationships because certain people either misunderstand where he’s coming from or are racist themselves.
2 Magic Johnson: Admitting To Being Diagnosed With HIV
The five-time NBA champion will go down as one of the greatest players in the game but there was a moment in his career where Magic was enshrouded in uncertainty about his legacy. In 1991, Johnson held a press conference to tell the world he was diagnosed with the deadly disease, HIV. Many were and still are under the assumption that you’re gay or bisexual if you tested positive for HIV.
Johnson has always claimed he contracted the disease through heterosexual sex, however, his image would take a hit because of the stigma of homosexuality attached with HIV. One word could describe what Johnson went through during those years and that’s courage. Not only was he a member of the 1992 Summer Olympic “Dream Team,” he also gave HIV victims a platform to discuss the disease and hope for a better life.
1 Jason Collins: First Openly Gay NBA Player
Jason Collins was selected by the Houston Rockets with the eighteenth overall pick in the 2001 NBA draft. Although the towering center was a standout in high school and college, Collins never transitioned into a star in the NBA. He would bounce around seven teams before retiring after the 2014 season. Before he would retire, Collins would admit his biggest secret of his life in an issue of Sports Illustrated in 2013.
He would become the first active professional male athlete in North America to announce that he's gay. As much heat as he got from his announcement, he also received praise from many both in the NBA and outside. Collins secret was kept in such a dark place, his former fiancée, Carolyn Moos, didn’t know about it until after the story went viral.