DALLAS, Texas (AFP) — Dallas Mavericks forward Josh Howard has admitted using marijuana in the off-season and says the majority of National Basketball Association players have a similar fondness for pot.
"Most of the players in the league use marijuana and I have and do partake in smoking weed in the off-season sometimes," Howard told an ESPN radio show.
"I mean, that's my personal choice and my personal opinion, but I don't think that's stopping me from doing my job."
Howard's comments come at a bad time for Dallas who have dug themselves a hole and trail the New Orleans Hornets two games to one in their opening round playoff series.
Dirk Nowitzki had 32 points and Howard scored 18 to lead Dallas to a 97-87 victory over the Hornets on Friday.
Marijuana is illegal in the United States and it is unknown if Howard will face punishment from the league.
Dallas owner Mark Cuban said the admission was a private team matter.
"We won't make it public. We will deal with it internally and that's it," Cuban said.
Under terms of the National Basketball Association's collective bargaining agreement, players are subject to four drug tests during the regular season. The tests look for both performance-enhancing and recreational drugs.
If an NBA player tests positive for marijuana, he is placed in a drug counselling programme. A second violation results in a 25,000 dollar fine.
In 2001, former NBA star Charles Oakley estimated that 60 percent of league's players used marijuana.
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