“They Know That I’m Scared of Needles” | Dame Lillard’s Blood-Drawn Drug Test Evokes Stephen Jackson’s Position On Bias In NBA Testing

Damian Lillard had a historic night on Sunday when he dropped a career-high 71 points against the Rockets. He joined Donovan Mitchell as the second player to score 70 points in a game this season, and he also joined him in getting drug tested after his big performance.

Damian Lillard driving the basketball in 71-point performance against the Houston Rockets. (Photo Cred:Getty Images)

Stephen Jackson called out the NBA for their bias drug testing policy that suggested only certain players get tested after big games. Lillard was dumbfounded when he had to submit a urine sample before Sunday’s game and a blood sample immediately after the game.

“I was like, ‘Are y’all serious?’” said Lillard. “I did the urine test yesterday, and then they backed it up with the blood-drawn tonight after the game — that’s actually my first time in my career being tested after a game.”

Lillard added, “And then aside from that, they know that I’m scared of needles. I know I got a lot of tattoos, but when you doing a blood draw it’s different than tattoos.”

Is The NBA Drug Testing Policy Bias?

Jackson appeared on the “I Am Athlete” podcast in late January to call out the NBA on their drug testing policies.

“Drug testing has always been a part of sports but the underlying message doesn’t sit well with me. By drug testing somebody after an incredible game, it’s almost saying in so many words you can’t do that without help,” said Ashley Nicole Moss, co-host on the podcast.

She continued, “What does that feel like on the other side of it when you get that call? Hey, great game but I need you to come pee in this cup.”

“Two things. One, they are not getting tested for weed. Let me pat myself on the back for that, me and Matt [Barnes]. We had a lot to do with that. The players could care less about the other stuff they test for,” Jackson answered. “Two, the NBA be showing their hand. Luka had 60-20-15 or something like that and he didn’t get drug tested. Donovan Mitchell had 70 and was drug tested. So they are just showing their hand.”

He finished, “They are showing you how unfair it is. It is right there, all you have to do is open your eyes. This is not done by accident, all this s*** is intentional.”

Luka Doncic has had three 50-point games and one 60-point game this season. Nikola Jokic is another player that has flown under the drug test radar. The two-time MVP has averaged triple-double for nearly three seasons. The two foreign players are not as active on social media as American-born players so it would be hard to know if the NBA has called them to be drug tested. It does seem to be a growing pattern with certain players that has made fans call out the league.

Other NBA Stars Drug Tested After Big Games

Ja Morant tweeted that he has been drug tested six times already this season on Jan. 17.

In 2020, Wizards star Bradley Beal was drug tested after back-to-back 50-point games.

“I guess the league don’t want me to score 50,” Beal said during his press conference. “I had a drug test today so, there you go.”

Also in 2020, the NBA did make minor changes to their drug policy during the ‘bubble season’. They no longer test for marijuana, but still test for human growth hormones, methamphetamine, cocaine, opiates, and perfomance-enhancers.

Their policy also states that players are subjected to four random tests each season from October 1 to June 30. They also are subjected to two random drug test in the offseason, which is from July 1 to September 30.

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