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Mitch McGary on lesson of marijuana suspension that sent him to NBA: ‘Don’t get caught’

Aug 29, 2014, 12:40 PM EDT

MItch McGary, Sam Presti MItch McGary, Sam Presti

Mitch McGary didn’t declare for the NBA draft on his own terms.

Facing a year-long suspension by the NCAA for failing a single marijuana test, the then-Michigan center concluded – wisely – he should turn pro.

And it’s worked well for him.

McGary was drafted No. 21 by the Thunder. Not only is he making millions of dollars, he joined one of the NBA’s top teams. Depending on Scott Brooks’ Kendrick Perkins fascination, McGary might even have a chance to join Steven Adams in Oklahoma City’s center rotation.

Recently, McGary spoke with Vice Sports about his experience:

I get people on Twitter and Instagram still commenting and stuff saying, ‘Oh, You did drugs.’

Well, you know what? I did. Whatever. So what? I learned from it.

It was in college. They’ll understand when they’re in college – or after that. Whatever.

It happens, and hopefully some kids can learn from it. But just don’t get caught.

Good for McGary.

All along, he’s handled this well. Just because the NCAA has ridiculous rules – you can read about more about them here – doesn’t mean he should bow to his punishing overlords. I’m not defending what McGary did, but smoking weed is not out of line for a Michigan student (or even criminalized in Ann Arbor), and he shouldn’t have faced such draconian penalties.

But as McGary brushes off his incident, it’s important to remember not all the athletes who’ve gotten stuck in the NCAA’s bureaucracy can laugh about it. McGary is positioned to do so because he made it out unscathed, but others have their careers ended by this nonsense.

Remember that when Adam Silver proposes raising the age limit and giving the NCAA even more power.

  1. whitwarren - Aug 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    I’m glad he’s not shaming cannabis use.

  2. absentstars - Aug 29, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Dont do drugs you’ll never be anything.

    I can be mayor!

  3. lj312chicago - Aug 29, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Mayor? Lmao go look at the last 3 presidents of the United States of America talk about drug use….

  4. justanacehole - Aug 29, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    “Hiya kids. Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don’t buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free!”

  5. Eutaw's Finest - Aug 29, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Just like with every company and their corporate policies: you know the rules. You are provided a handbook. If you don’t like the rules? Find a new company to work for. And if you can’t follow the rules? Be prepared for the punishment that is written for violations. It’s common sense. But people these days are so entitled they feel that a company should change their policies to meet “social standards” and essentially whatever the employee deems “fair.” It’s ludicrous. Why should an employer change their policies due to pressure? I for one am no buying it.

    • absentstars - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:45 PM

      So he was working for the ncaa? I thought he was a student athlete?

      • mattness11 - Oct 27, 2014 at 5:19 AM

        Eutaw’s Finest was trying to pay him under the table to deliberately lose every game played against the Utah Jazz, but the honorable McGary refused Eutaw’s bribes.

  6. eagles512 - Aug 29, 2014 at 1:19 PM

    Maybe it’s not out of line for a Michigan student but it is for someone who was given a scholarship by Michigan.

    • absentstars - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      Michigan didnt suspend him. The ncaa did.

  7. jackvcr - Aug 29, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    This punk is just another dipstick athlete who feels he is entitled to do what he wants & couldn’t care less about the effect on his team, teammates or school. Nothing but a mediocre college center.

    • iritian - Aug 29, 2014 at 8:01 PM

      Or you know, just a college kid who enjoys pot because its not a crime in the state he was living in.

  8. biggestredmiami - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:16 PM

    LOL at the guy walking in the background of the interview. You see an NBA player in full uniform doing an interview in a parking lot and decided to crash the part.

  9. paleihe - Aug 29, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    I see quite a few people here that absolutely never do anything that’s forbidden in the company handbook.

    You ever tell a dirty joke at work? Use the company fax machine for personal use? What about checking your Facebook? Or posting on sports blogs? No? Stop lying.

    He smoked some weed. Get over it. And, it worked out really well for him. He’s going to bank some guaranteed millions while playing for a fantastic team.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 29, 2014 at 10:27 PM

      Get ’em!!

  10. nicktomfrank - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    Good for him! Legalize nature.

  11. mikeymo74 - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    “Whatever” “Don’t get caught”. No matter what you think about marijuana, you have to acknowledge that’s a terrible attitude to have. He’s a guaranteed bust, one of many mistakes OKC has made recently.

    • tridecagon - Aug 29, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      That’s a great attitude to have. Stupid laws don’t deserve our respect.

      Hell, we all apply the same policy to speeding every day. Most of the posted limits are stupid. The way you decide how fast to drive is by what makes sense for the conditions and what won’t get you pulled over.

      • ProBasketballPundit - Aug 29, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        Outlaws whoooo! I fly through red lights, stop signs and double speed limits every day. I don’t need no road signs to tell me how to drive!

        I’m mostly serious. Unfortunately, I did just get a warning ticket for rolling through a stop sign. I love that the cops will pull you over for going 4mph over the limit all in the name of safety. Meanwhile, after they hit you with the speedgun they pull an insane U-turn through traffic and almost kill a couple people speeding to catch you.

      • janessa31888 - Aug 30, 2014 at 7:20 AM

        In the small town where I live, there have been 5 people killed in the last month because of people decided that traffic laws were stupid, and failed to stop at the stop sign. Three of them were teens, who will never get to go to college now. There are some laws that are still good to follow.

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 29, 2014 at 10:32 PM

      Nobody thumb up/down mikeymo!!

      Let’s keep it at 4 20 ! Lol

  12. ravenswhat - Aug 29, 2014 at 6:57 PM

    What a loser. Don’t get caught?? Typical blameless millennial.

    • elcapitanfiscal - Aug 29, 2014 at 8:31 PM

      He admitted he was at fault..he said not to get caught because he probably supports marijuana, not because hes pleading innocent.

  13. titansbro - Aug 30, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    Some people on here seem to equate weed with murder. You people are fascinating. Literally anyone I hung out with in HS smoked weed occasionally. Guess what? None of us are in jail. In fact, some served in the military & the rest went to college & have nice careers now. Some of us did both. If I ever got caught I wouldn’t feel bad about doing it, I’d feel stupid fig getting caught. You people are idiots, go back to your miserable lives.

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