15 Athletes Who Didn't Let Drugs Get In The Way Of Their Success

by Julian Sonny

The recent revelation of Lamar Odom and his crack-addicted past definitely came as a shocker to the sports world. However, this is also just a reminder that pro athletes, no matter how rich or famous they are, are human beings, too. I mean, can we really blame them for wanting to turn up?

And with Rolling Stone's recent bombshell piece on Aaron Hernandez, which details his druggy past (PCP to be exact), it makes us think: why can't these guys handle their sh*t? Sure, they're more high profile and they command a bit more attention, but when you're killing guys or running from cops, you know you have some serious problems.

Not only does this look bad on you, but you're ruining the fun for the rest of your colleagues. Many guys have come before, taken care of their business, and gotten back out on that field and performed. No major media story or anything. These are the 15 Athletes Who Didn't Let Drugs Get In The Way Of Their Success:

Ricky Williams, NFL (Marijuana)

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Former Heisman trophy winner and NFL running back legend Ricky Williams infamously chose trees over his pro football career when he left to become a massage therapist. This of course came after failing a drug test in 2004, which led him to his "early retirement." He returned a year later to play three solid seasons with the Miami Dolphins, proving once and for all that weed has absolutely no adverse effects on athletic performance.

Ron Artest (Alcohol & Probably Weed)

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The player formerly known as Ron Artest admitted to getting sauced during halftime as a member of the Chicago Bulls. He went on to say during an interview with Sporting News, “I used to drink Hennessy…at halftime,” Artest said. “I (kept it) in my locker. I’d just walk to the liquor store and get it.” Artest went on to play out one of the most memorable careers in the history of the league, not only for his epic fights but for his championship run with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010. Oh yeah, and judging by the sh*t he says on Twitter, we'd have to say he smokes hella weed, too.

Diego Maradona, Soccer (Cocaine)

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Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona proved that you truly can play at a high level... while high off your ass. He was addicted to cocaine for over two decades, from 1980-2004. That's 24 years of that yay yay, as he not only played while on the stuff, but coached on it as well. He ended up having to kick the habit after overdosing in '04 when he suffered a myocardial infarction. Diego recovered and is said to have been sober ever since.

Josh Hamilton, MLB (Alcohol, Heroin, Crack Cocaine)

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The first overall pick in the 1999 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Josh Hamilton immediately succumbed to the pressure, getting addicted to everything from heroin, alcohol and crack cocaine in just his rookie year. This delayed his pro career nine whole years when he finally had a successful stint in rehab in 2008. Two years later, in 2010, he became the AL MVP and was one of the biggest attractions in the league thanks to his impressive performance at the 2008 Home Run Derby.

Michael Phelps, Olympic Swimmer (Marijuana)

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We all know that Michael Phelps is pretty much the most overgrown frat bro of all time. But when he was busted hitting the bong after his masterful performance in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, people were surprised. Probably because he killed it, walking away with eight gold medals and was the golden boy of the entire games. Once again, proving that weed helps, if anything.

Tim Lincecum, MLB (Marijuana)

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I mean just look at him. Tim Lincecum is the quintessential stoner hippie pitcher who was perfectly crafted to play in San Francisco. If that goofy smile or his glazed over eyes don't give him away, then you didn't see him before he cut his long hair. While he was slumping earlier in the season, the pitching pothead threw out a no-hitter during a game against the San Diego Padres to claim his status as the most untouchable stoner in baseball.

Michael Irvin, NFL (Cocaine, Marijuana)

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Michael Irvin was a wild boy during his glory days with the Dallas Cowboys, from 1988 to 1999. He made five Pro Bowls, won three Super Bowls nabbed 65 career touchdowns. All this while he was partying his ass off, f*cking hookers, smoking weed and snorting cocaine. That's how every athlete in the 80s should have been living! Unfortunately, this fast lifestyle is what ultimately caught him a charge, but he still played one hell of a career anyway.

Shawn Kemp (Cocaine & Alcohol)

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During his prime alongside Gary Payton on the Seattle Supersonics from 1989-1997, there was probably not a more unstoppable power forward in the game than Shawn Kemp. He possessed all of the size, strength and skill to own opponents as he led his team to the Finals in 1996. However, because of a mean addiction to cocaine, he ended up burning out of the NBA. But not before racking up 15,347 points, 8,834 rebounds and 1,279 blocks. Now that's beast mode.

Nate Newton, NFL (Marijuana)

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Nate Newton was one of the most feared defensive stoppers for the Dallas Cowboys during the 80s. He also just so happened to be one of the biggest king pins in Texas. After getting caught with 200 pounds of weed in his car, he was caught with another 175 pounds just five weeks later. Nate was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Despite this drug problem, he made six Pro Bowls and three Super Bowls.

Andre Agassi, Tennis (Crystal Meth)

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Andre Agassi is a straight legend in the tennis world. But just how good is he? Well he's so damn good that he's pretty much made everybody be cool with the fact that he used to do crystal meth. Sort of. He admitted to this shocking revelation in his 2009 autobiography "Open," saying, "I say Slim, whom I've since fired, is a known drug user, and that he often spikes his sodas with meth — which is true. Then I come to the central lie of the letter. I say that recently I drank accidentally from one of Slim's spiked sodas, unwittingly ingesting his drugs. I ask for understanding and leniency and hastily sign it: Sincerely."

Lawrence Taylor, NFL (Cocaine)

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There weren't many men who were feared like Lawrence Taylor during his time with the Giants in the 80s. LT's pass rush was second to none as he would clobber NFC quarterbacks on Sundays and go out raging pretty much every other day of the week. Making 10 Pro Bowl teams and winning two Super Bowls during his reign, LT admitted that he started getting on cocaine as early as his rookie season. Maybe this was the reason behind his success and reckless play on the field. He was just yayed up!

Dwight 'Doc' Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez of the 1986 Mets (Everything)

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New York was too poppin' in the 80s. The 1986 Mets were not only legendary for their epic World Series win, but for the rampant drug use that was going on behind the clubhouse doors. Three guys in particular turned up like nobody else during that decade -- Dwight 'Doc' Gooden, Darryl Strawbery and Keith Hernandez. These three literally did it all, from massive lines of coke, to the drunken driving around the city and getting caught up with some hooker bullsh*t, they truly wilded out. Doc Gooden even admitted that he went on such a hardcore binge after their World Series win that he missed the team's championship parade. Now that's faded.

Dock Ellis, MLB (LSD)

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