The Memphis Grizzlies traveled Oklahoma City for the second of five NBA Game 7s that we were all treated to this weekend. Their leading scorer, All-Star power forward Zach Randolph, did not make the trip.
Unless you’ve been in a coma, you are certainly aware that Zach Randolph was suspended for one game after he inexplicably punched Thunder center Steven Adams in the fourth quarter of OKC’s 104-84 victory Thursday night.
(If you missed it, you can see the video HERE)
Zach Randolph started getting into trouble with the law long before he was an NBA All-Star. At 15, he was placed under house arrest for battery. Two years later, he was placed in juvenile detention for receiving stolen guns.
In 2002, less than 12 months after being drafted in the first round by the Portland Trail Blazers, he was arrested for underage drinking. In 2010, an Indianapolis man was arrested with over three ounces of marijuana while driving a car registered to Zach Randolph.
There have even been unconfirmed rumors that Zach Randolph is a member of the street gang known as the Gangster Disciples.
But Zach Randolph has always performed on the basketball court, with career averages of 17.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. He led the Grizzlies with 17.4/10.1 this season while also averaging a career-best 2.5 assists.
But his team was forced to play Game 7 without him, and with his contract due to expire after the 2014-15 season, one has to wonder if the Grizzlies’ front office is ready to move on without Zach Randolph.
Zach Randolph turns 33 in July, and while his game isn’t predicated on speed and quickness, one has to believe that he is nearing the end of his effective years.
Marc Gasol and Mike Conley have become the stars of the Memphis roster, and there would certainly be interest in Zach Randolph around the league if he were to be put on the trading block.
Zach Randolph’s idiotic punch and ensuing suspension left Memphis with little to no chance of advancing in this year’s playoffs, and it certainly seems possible that he has played his last game in a Memphis uniform.
Don Ellis began covering sports in high school for the Eddyville (KY) Herald Ledger and the Attica (IN) Ledger Tribune. Other credits include Bulls4Ever.com and InsideHoops (columnist) and ESPN Florida (guest analyst, co-host, SportsCenter anchor). In addition to running Bullsville.net and blogging for ChicagoNow, he is also an umpire for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. He has been a Bulls fan since the days of Van Lier, Sloan, Love, Walker and Boerwinkle. He has also been a maniacal New England Patriots fan since Steve Grogan was a rookie.
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