Which Laker did Rob Lowe give a quaalude to?

If you haven’t heard, Rob Lowe was recently on Jimmy Kimmel, he dropped a quick story about Pat Riley banning him from the team plane and hotel for giving someone a quaalude and them subsequently going 0 for 60. Now, the 0 for 60 is surely an exaggeration. But what else is not clear is if he was previously banned or if he got banned at the Lakers/Pistons final he was attending in Detroit. As you’ll see in the video below, he stammers a bit over that timeline:

So let’s breakdown what we know and see if we can find out who did quaaludes with Rob Lowe.


If you’re not familiar, here’s a bit from drugs.com on them:

Quaaludes (methaqualone) are a synthetic, barbiturate-like, central nervous system depressant and a popular recreational drug in the U.S. from the 1960s until the 1980s, when its use was made illegal by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

As Lowe mentioned in the video, it was the 80s, so this makes sense.

Pat Riley

Pat Riley coached the Lakers from 1979 – 1990, so still not much more clarity on the timeline. However, he does mention it’s a final against Detroit. That actually happened twice in the 80’s, but unfortunately, the second happened in the 88-89 season, so we’re still pretty much looking at the entire decade.

Rob Lowe

If you’re not familiar with him, he doesn’t only root for the Lakers, he apparently also roots for the NFL. And oh yeah, he’s been a movie star for like the past 40 years. But wait, not quite 40 years. As his first really big role was The Outsiders in 1983. He wouldn’t really be hanging out with Jack Nicholson prior to this, so ok, we’re looking 83-84 season to 88-89.


From January 6th to Feburary 10th, Swen Nater went 4-27 for the Lakers. Just atrocious. However, I am not sure this could be attributed to the mid 30s dutchman partying with a 19 year old Rob Lowe. Seems like a stretch, but man, he’s got a great look for a guy doing ludes.


For the last month of the season, Chuck Nevitt went 3-14 and again is a guy with a brilliant stache. He also had incredible nicknames (Chuck E. Cheese, Human Victory Cigar) and was a towering 7’5″, so I can only imagine what the cigar referenced. But it took a month to rack up 14 shots, so I can’t imagine Riley was even keeping count.


Not really much I could find this season. Kurt Rambis had a few 0fer games here and there. But I doubt it’s him because:

  1. He didn’t have any really bad streaks
  2. He looks like he’d tell Riley to “fuck off” if he questioned his lude usage


Now here’s an interesting one. This is a combo effort in the first playoff series. Adrian Branch and Mike Smrek failed to make a bucket in the entire series, going a combined 0-14. That’s the kinda thing that gets you banned from the team hotel.

from nba.com


Smrek and Rambis are prime suspects again! Smrek with the worse streak, but hey, maybe the guy just wasn’t a great shooter. I mean, this makes me think Riley overreacted if it truly was the 86-87 playoffs.


David Rivers has some 0fer streaks this season, but just doesn’t get enough shots to really qualify. Michael Cooper, however, has a 3-18 streak over a few games and an 0-7 streak later that season. He seems a little suspect. But overall, at this point, I’m thinking I might not find the person.

But then, I remember that Jimmy Kimmel referenced a discussion with John Stamos where this came up. And hey, here it is:

Lowe mentions going to see Stamos play with the Beach Boys while he was in Detroit to see the Lakers play. Quick check and yep, the Beach Boys played about 30 minutes outside of Detroit on June 11th, 1988, the day before the Lakers would start the road stretch of the Finals against the Pistons.

Side note: I bet you can get some quaaludes at a Beach Boys show in the ’80s.

1988 Finals

Let’s turn our attention right back to our guy Michael Cooper. The next three days of the Finals June 12th-16th, Cooper went 2 for 16.

I’m not saying it was Michael Cooper, but it’s possible. What’s definite is that I wish I could have partied with Rob Lowe in the 80s. Hitting up the Beach Boys, NBA Finals, and hanging with Nicholson and Stamos. That’s some wild shit. Good on Rob for finally letting this story out. As for Michael Cooper, the guy has multiple rings, played over 800 games in the NBA, and in my book, can do as many ludes as he wants!


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