Who Is Spencer Haywood?
Spencer Haywood is a legendary basketball player who was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. He rose to prominence after leading the United States to victory in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.
He claims that in the 1980s, 80 percent of NBA players used cocaine. “Cocaine was the ultimate Los Angeles drug,” even Jeanie Buss acknowledged.
Spencer Haywood’s career was blighted by his drug addiction, which led to his suspension from the NBA finals. Here’s the truth.
Did Spencer Haywood Spent His Salary On Drugs And Cocaine?
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Spencer Haywood’s cocaine addiction is chronicled in great detail by Pearlman. In fact, his family had a drinking problem. Haywood’s sister and brother were “functional alcoholics,” as he characterized them to the author.
In 1978, while playing for the New York Knicks, he tried cocaine for the first time. He promised himself that once he joined the purple and gold, he would perform better.
When he took a hit from the pipe, however, his intent and the hard yards he put in before the start of the pre-season games diminished, to the point that he spent a large portion of his NBA earnings on narcotics.
According to the sources, he reportedly spent $300 per week on narcotics, all of his salary, though he admitted that much of it was free. He would take a couple of Quaaludes to bring him back to normal after the high he would get from using the drug.
He did, however, overdose on the drug and pass out on the bathroom floor once. When Paul Westhead took over in McKinney’s absence throughout the season, Haywood’s playing time suffered, and his interactions with the squad grew more stressful.
Spencer Haywood’s Addiction And Illness
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Spencer Haywood invites the team to his house to watch the All-Star game in ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty’ Episode 8, and while there’s a verbal spat between him and Pat Riley (Adrien Brody).
There’s a pivotal incident that actually reveals his career direction. Haywood is seen scooping cocaine out of his shoe, and it’s reasonable to conclude that the Lakers player was labeled a “cocaine addict” in Jeff Pearlman’s book.
As we all know, drug addiction has put people’s health in grave peril, and we feel Haywood is one of the victims.
What Happened To Spencer Haywood?
During the championship series against the Philadelphia 76ers, which featured the famous contest between Magic Johnson and Dr. J, Spencer Haywood was booted off the team. During practice, he had slept off.
Haywood spent the following season in Italy with Reyer Venezia Mestre before returning to the NBA with the Washington Bullets. While Episode 8 just alluded to his drug use, future episodes may focus on his cocaine addiction.