Bringing the Smoke: Ex-NBA Players Team Up with Showtime to Run a Cannabis-Positive Podcast
By Henry Kronk for Loud News Net
“All The Smoke” podcast co-hosts Matt Barnes and Steven “Stack” “Jack” or “Stackjack” Jackson are comfortable in the spotlight. And if you listen to how they tell it, they were well-known for their smoking habits during their time in the league. Since retirement, Barnes especially identifies himself as an advocate for cannabis in the league. That stance puts him at odds with the status quo attitude when the NBA policy now, at time of writing, forbids cannabis consumption by its players. It’s notable that cannabis has medicinal effects that would offer an alternative to the painkillers and steroids usually offered to players by team doctors, but policy forbids it.
Friends and NBA champions, Matt and Jack earned notoriety and media scrutiny while in the league. Stephen Jackson’s career irrevocably changed after his involvement in the “Malice in the Palace” in 2004. Barnes’ trip of ex-teammate Derek Fisher was immortalized by the Kanye song “30 Hours”. Given their time in the spotlight, it’s no surprise that their presence in the media landscape makes a big splash. They are bringing a nuanced openness and understanding to their interview subjects who often share their high media profile. Luminaries like Stephen A. Smith, Kevin Garnett, and Al Harrington are among their guests. The high caliber interview subjects are a demonstration the two are respected in their industry.
NBA and Cannabis
Al Harrington’s interview detailed his journey into the cannabis business. From never consuming cannabis and considering it a gateway drug, Al shares his story of starting Viola, his cannabis business. Al’s grandmother Viola suffered debilitating glaucoma and her treatments failed to provide relief. Al shared a Volcano bag with her. After his nap, he discovered Viola had a breakthrough. She was able to read her Bible for the first time in years.
But it wasn’t always like this; for the longest time the American “war on drugs” attitude always showed cannabis in a negative light. And that was doubly true for cannabis in sports. That’s what makes the entrance of Showtime Network’s “All the Smoke” podcast into the sports media world so exciting.
The Player’s Voice
Monolithic sports media companies like ESPN and Fox Sports ruled the airwaves for years by reheating the same tired talking points and scripted-media narratives from billion-dollar teams and their billionaire owners. And it was the players job to “shut up and dribble,” not share their lived experiences or opinions with the media.
Bringing the Smoke
All the Smoke podcast is binge-worthy content
Which makes a night and day contrast with Matt and Stack. Their reputations for sharing their mind were backed up by aggressive, chip-on-the-shoulder style of play on the court. Communication is often made with the interest of protecting whatever institution is involved in a world where billions of dollars hang in the balance for sports team owners and millions for players. Instead of taking a humanistic approach. But as cohosts of Showtime Network’s “All the Smoke” podcast, Matt and Stack’s notoriety finally has a real platform to shine. If they two can maintain the same values and energy of openness and understanding for their guests, a quarantining population desperate for new basketball content will burn their way through as many episodes as the pair can wrap up.
All the Smoke with Al Harrington
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