Warriors

Kerr acknowledges marijuana use for chronic back pain, advocates for change

Kerr acknowledges marijuana use for chronic back pain, advocates for change

There were days and nights when he was in agony, when no medication – and he tried many – could stop the headaches from corroding his mere existence.

So Steve Kerr tried something once considered radical.

The Warriors coach sought relief in weed.

“I guess maybe I can even get in some trouble for this, but I’ve actually tried it twice during the last year and a half, when I’ve been going through this chronic pain that I’ve been dealing with,” Kerr said Friday on The Warriors Insider Podcast.

“(After) a lot of research, a lot of advice from people and I have no idea if maybe I would have failed a drug test. I don’t even know if I’m subject to a drug test or any laws from the NBA.”

During the summer of 2015, Kerr underwent two surgeries on his back, the latter procedure in part to alleviate the pain from the first. Still, the pain continued. He arrived at training camp to coach the defending champions and two days later realized he was not up to the grind.

Kerr, now 51, took a leave of absence that lasted nearly four months, during which time he sought comfort through various painkillers and treatments.

He returned to coaching in January 2016, but it was during his absence from the team that he reached the same conclusion as many medical professionals.

“I’m not a pot person; it doesn’t agree with me,” Kerr said. “I’ve tried it a few times, and it did not agree with me at all. So I’m not the expert on this stuff. But I do know this: If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you’ve got a lot of pain, I don’t think there is any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin. And yet athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal.”

Vicodin (hydrocodone) and other pain relievers come with side effects – including nausea, vomiting, constipation and blurred vision – that can be even more damaging to the body. Moreover, painkillers invite the risk of addiction that, for some, can lead directly to death.

“I know enough, especially over the last couple years, having gone through my own bout with chronic pain, I know enough about this stuff – Vicodin is not good for you,” said Kerr, who still has experiences discomfort. “It’s way worse for you than pot, especially if you’re looking for a painkiller and you’re talking about medicinal marijuana, the different strains what they’re able to do with it as a pain reliever.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before the NBA and NFL and Major League Baseball realize that.”

Marijuana has been legalized in some form by 26 states and the District of Columbia. It has been used to treat patients suffering from chronic or acute pain. Yet it remains stigmatized in certain segments of American society.

“There’s this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine, but pot is bad,” Kerr said, explaining that some folks continue to resist the notion that pot is somehow more treacherous than, say, alcohol, while others have studied the subject and become advocates.

“I would hope,” Kerr said, “especially for these NFL guys, who are basically involved in a car wreck every Sunday – and maybe four days later, the following Thursday, which is another insane thing the NFL does – I would hope that league will come to its senses and institute a different sort of program where they can help these guys get healthier rather than getting hooked on these painkillers.”

NBA rumors: Lakers add Michael Beasley on one-year contract

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AP

NBA rumors: Lakers add Michael Beasley on one-year contract

Michael Beasley found himself a new basketball home on Friday.

The Lakers agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Beasley, league sources told multiple national reporters.

In 74 games with the Knicks last season, Beasley averaged 13.2 points and 5.6 rebounds.

[RELATED: Charles Barkley says the Nuggets and Timberwolves are better than the Lakers]

Beasley -- the No. 2 overall pick in the 2008 draft -- will be playing for his seventh NBA team.

The 29-year old also played for two different teams in China.

Beasley was teammates with LeBron James in Miami during the 2013-14 season.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Jonas Jerebko ready to show he's 'a lot better player than people think'

Jonas Jerebko ready to show he's 'a lot better player than people think'

Earlier this week, Jonas Jerebko was introduced to Bay Area media members.

He talked about his expectations for next season and his role with the Warriors.

On Friday morning, he was a guest on 95.7 The Game and told Warriors fans they should have a pretty high bar for the "Swedish Larry Bird."

"I've been 10 years in the league and I feel like I'm getting better every year. I feel like I haven't played my best basketball yet," Jerebko declared. "The most minutes I did play was my rookie year."

Jerebko -- the 39th pick in the 2009 draft -- averaged 9.3 points and 6.0 rebounds as a rookie in Detroit.

He missed the entire 2010-11 season because of a torn Achilles tendon, but bounced back in 2011-12 to the tune of 8.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per contest.

The 31-year old played a couple more seasons in Detroit and was then traded to Boston in February 2015.

He re-signed with the Celtics in July 2015 and averaged 15.1 minutes and 15.8 minutes per contest in his two seasons under Brad Stevens.

In Utah last year, Jerebko registered 5.8 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15.3 minutes, and shot over 41 percent from 3-point territory.

"I got a lot more to give and I'm a lot better player than people think I am sometimes," Jerebko said. "I'm ready to show that."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller