The legacy of Adam “Pacman” Jones is a tricky one. The former first-round pick was one of the best free agent signings in the history of the Cincinnati Bengals, which says something about Jones and the Bengals both. The talent of Jones was never the question, though.
Multiple run-ins with the law derailed and ultimately ended Jones’ tumultuous football career. Having been out of football for over a year now, Jones faced several years of prison time after an incident at Rising Star Casino in February of 2019. Jones eventually accepted a plea deal and has been out of the news ever since.
What’s Jones up to now? The 36-year old was recently on SHOWTIME’s Basketball video-podcast All The Smoke, which is hosted by former NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. During the interview, Jones revealed some striking information, including his admission of living with Bipolar disorder.
“I’m bipolar, but I’ve never told nobody nothing about my bipolar because I didn’t want it to interfere with nothing else. Different things that I’ve dealt with on the fly but only between me, my household, my wife and my doctors that people don’t understand...And when I was playing football, I ain’t want to take no medicine because I didn’t want it to take away from my passion for what I was doing.”
Hiding his condition during his football career wasn’t the only thing that he did to deal with his troubles. Jones also revealed he smoked cannabis throughout his playing days, specifically on game days.
“I’ve never stopped smoking in none of my career. Not one time. I’ve smoked before every game…”
Jones is not the first player to acknowledge his marijuana usage as a method of preparing to play football, but these revelations do impact how we remember Jones the person when he was with the Bengals. His actions off the field can’t be forgotten, but context adds an extra layer to how his career should be perceived.
Regardless, Cincinnati is where Jones had the most professional success, and Bengals fans had plenty of love for him. Jones said he still feels love for them, too.
“I had some loyal fans [In Cincinnati] that stuck with me through thick and thin when sh*t was hitting the fan and everybody was saying this was gonna happen, that was gonna happen. Me personally, I thank Mr. Brown. We didn’t end it the way that we wanted it to end, but he was very loyal to me man and stuck by me 150% and that had a lot to do with Coach [Marvin Lewis] too…Cincinnati is home to me.”
When things were only good, Jones became one of the success stories Bengals owner Mike Brown and head coach Marvin Lewis helped bring to life. Had Jones never found stability in the NFL, his life could be vastly different than it is now.
It’s rare to find a player who stuck with the Bengals for a long period of time in that era that doesn’t share Jones’ opinion of Brown and Lewis. The organization and Jones parted ways at the right time, but his time with the team was not wasted.
The second half of Jones’ life is only beginning, but Cincinnati will always be a part of his legacy.