As the sun set over a busy Hollywood Boulevard, in the upscale but secluded Liaison Restaurant & Lounge, former NBA player and Hall of Famer Gary Payton celebrated his 51st birthday and the launch of his new venture, CannaSports. CannaSports offers a line of THC and CBD vape cartridges, along with collectable batteries that mimic the color schemes of his former team jerseys. With his brand, the former athlete is looking to take his big-time game that he showcased on the basketball court and translate it into success for his new cannabis company.
The invite-only event welcomed celebrities, former athletes, and Gary’s close family members, all there to support and help change the narrative about cannabis. The venue boasted an open bar, an open-air patio where members of Puffy Co. were handing out free dabs…and a variety of signs with snarky phrases like ‘Don’t Do Coke in the Bathroom’.
The main objective of the launch party was to promote the benefits that come from smoking weed and to show how CannaSports, which is affiliated with P&S Ventures, can become an industry leader by spreading their message through Gary’s voice.
While there was a long line of people wanting to talk and snap photos with “The Glove”, we were able to catch up with him after getting the ok to enter the V.I.P area. When we entered he was surrounded by friends and family, but eagerly greeted us and gave us a cool ten minutes to talk about his brand that he truly stands behind. Even though he is not a smoker, he firmly believes the medicine CannaSports is providing will help all who are in pain.
Can you explain what we’re doing here tonight?
We’re out here celebrating the launch of my new line, CannaSports by Gary Payton. I’m trying to help and provide a more natural way of medicating using THC and CBD. I was thinking about my mother, when this idea came about using natural stuff—cannabis— that would help her get off her medication and help her feel better. That’s where I’m coming from, and that’s what I’m trying to promote.
What is your product like? How is it going to shake up the industry?
It’s a great product. What it’s going to do for the industry is that it’s going to change a lot of things like style, and then it’s going to make it more relaxing for people to bring it out without them being scared of doing so, because it’s not all about always smoking and trying to get high; there is a reason why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m doing it because of the health benefits, and if they see that, the more others are going to get more involved. Then is going to open the door for others to see that this isn’t just a drug to get high and spaced out with. This is a healthier alternative.
Do you consider yourself a transcender by being one of the first Hall of Fame athletes that is openly involved with cannabis?
At first this was all about my mother, but when CannaSports started to become big and people started to see the name Gary Payton, I said to myself, “I should start doing a lot more things, like let’s do water, let’s do bomb baths, let’s do deodorant, let’s do everything that can help.” And when they said “you can make it; you’ll be the first one doing it”. It got me thinking that if I can be the first one and be a popular one, that would get everyone on to it [cannabis], it would be a great move for myself and a lot of people.
Are you an avid smoker?
No, I’m not.
Did you take your game on the court and translated it into the cannabis game?
I’m always going to translate my game. I’m aggressive, I’m going to be a talker, I’m going to go out here and promote it the right way, I’m really really really really going to be arrogant with it too, and that’s what the swagger is, that’s why people like it, because they saw my swagger in basketball. That’s why you see my logo, The Glove imprint, on my product.