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Get in the Game: Weed Strains Named After Athletes

Cannabis breeders like sports, too.
Cannabis breeders like sports, too.
Brandon Marshall

Marijuana growers love naming strains after famous people, and athletes aren't exempt. Some of the plant's breeding hot spots — Denver, Seattle, the Bay Area and Southern California — are full of crazed sports fans, so why not name a potent Kush or uplifting OG after some of our favorite ballers?

To keep sports alive in your mind after you toke away those brain cells, here are seven strains named after great athletes. Just don't expect to light up the court after smoking them.

Mike Tyson
Given Mike Tyson's recent foray into the cannabis industry, it's no surprise there's a strain named after him — which is weird, because I always thought his lungs were impregnable. The strain named after him, Tyson (also labeled Mike Tyson and Mike Tyson OG), allegedly carries a potent high, knocking out novice users nearly as fast as a Tyson uppercut. But Mike Tyson is a proprietary strain for a Vancouver dispensary and is on the endangered list.

Gary Payton
Gary Payton, one of the greatest point guards ever, agreed to a licensing deal with Cookies Fam in 2019. The Bay Area breeders crossed Snowman and the Y to create one of the company's most popular current strains. Payton's defense was so good that he was nicknamed the Glove, and the strain named after him caresses you like one, providing physical and stress relief while packing a strong punch to the nose.

Marshawn Lynch
It's hard not to love Marshawn Lynch, whose quirky interviews and affinity for Skittles made him a favorite with football fans in and outside of Seattle. His personality fits quite a few stoner profile marks, but the strain named after Lynch, Beastmode OG, embraces the hard-hitting side of the physical running back. Like Tyson, Beastmode OG is a proprietary strain, and only available from a Seattle cannabis grower.

Black Mamba
Black Mamba
Herbert Fuego

Peyton Manning
This strain popped up around 2013, when Peyton Manning's arm was still functioning at a record level for the Denver Broncos. The Super Bowl-winning quarterback and his family weren't huge fans of the strain named after him, which is reportedly a cross between Chemdog 91 and San Fernando Valley OG. It's hard to find in Colorado nowadays, but still appears around the country every once in a while. Don't expect to throw a spiral a quarter-mile after toking it; this isn't Uncle Rico OG.

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Kobe Bryant
Although it's not clear if Black Mamba was named after the NBA legend, who tragically passed away earlier this year, the weed strain's killer instinct is a more-than-appropriate imitation of Bryant's self-declared nickname in honor of his late-game play. It has several genetic backgrounds claiming the name, but all of them are deeply purple and likely to put you to sleep.

Larry Bird
I was disappointed to find out that Larry Bird is another name for Gelato #33, a popular Cookies variant, but that disappointment comes from the sad fact that growers ran with Gelato #33 to begin with. Larry Bird may be a white, subconsciously racist basketball fan's wet dream, but he also deserves all the praise he got. His low-key demeanor, coordination and trash talking were legendary, and the strain named after him — an even-keeled hybrid of Sunset Sherbet and Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies — is known for making users quiet but loose, like Larry Legend's game off the court.

Michael Phelps
We haven't spotted Michael Phelps OG for a while now. Phelps was outed as a cannabis user when a photo of the swimmer holding a bong surfaced in 2009, so a weed strain popped up in his honor, of course. The strain, likely an OG Kush phenotype, probably isn't Phelps's favorite, as the photo cost America's most dominant Olympian ever some endorsement deals.

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