Nirvana, Marijuana And…Charles Barkley?


The NBCSN sports news talk show host Dan Patrick interviewed former NBA star and current sports analyst Charles Barkley on ‘The Dan Patrick Show’, which aired March 23rd. In the interview Barkley spoke about his experiences with cannabis, with Saturday Night Live and the legendary rock band Nirvana.

Barkley told Patrick that the basketball star has hosted Saturday Night Live (SNL) three times- one of which featured Nirvana as the musical guest.

“If you’ve ever been to Saturday Night Live the dressing rooms are like… three feet apart,” Barkley began. “I had people coming in and out, my friends, so I kept my dressing room open. Every time those guys from Nirvana opened their door I got like a contact high. It was like one of those big mushroom clouds came (out). Like, I was scared to go to the airport… When I was driving I was like, just do not go near the airport.”

Barkley remembered the band fondly. “I didn’t know anything about Nirvana… they were fantastic. All they guys were nice, I think Courtney was there, also,” Barkley recalled. Later he added, “They were great. They were really nice. But every time they opened that door- that big mushroom cloud, and.. ” Barkley sniffed the air for emphasis, to laughter from the in-studio staff at the Dan Patrick Show.

“I’m not a pot guy,” Barkley added. “I have smoked pot like three time, five times in my life and all it made me want to do was eat potato chips.”

“Did you smoke in college?” Patrick asked.

“I did not,” Barkley replied, “I smoked in the pros.”

He explained. “I had a couple teammates who were like, ‘Dude just try this,’ and so I was like, ‘ok, let me try it,’ but I didn’t get no peace. All it made me… all I wanted was potato chips…

“Pot gave me the munchies.”

“Can you understand these guys who would smoke at halftime or prior to a game?” Patrick asked.

“When I got to the NBA guys would smoke at halftime or drink a beer at halftime, and I was like, ‘What the hell?’” Barkley replied.

“Were they smoking pot at halftime?” Patrick said, amazed.

“No, cigarettes,” Barkley was quick to correct.

Patrick shared a personal story of his own. “I remember being with John Barry and we were covering this game for the mother ship and walking by a player, prior to a game, and it was just…” Patrick made hand motions indicating the player reeked of cannabis smoke. “I mean, he was smoking before he got to the game.”

“I never understood that,” Barkley said, then related a story which fully explained that point.

“There was this one guy I played with in college. We tried to do an intervention because he smoked pot all the time, and he was one of the best shooters I have ever played with in my life… He smoked pot relentlessly.

“Coach said, I want you guys to do an intervention,” Barkley said. “The guy said, Okay, I’ll stop smoking pot.

“The guy could not hit a shot. So we went back to the coach and said, ‘Coach, we need him to start smoking pot again.’” Barkley, Patrick and the studio crew laughed loudly.

“This guy could not make a shot (when he was) off the pot. It was hilarious.” The studio erupted in laughter.

“Maybe the Knicks need to start smoking pot,” Patrick quipped a moment later.

“Not even pot could help them,” Barkley replied.

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