Grizzlies' Zach Randolph Implicated In Drug Investigation, Strip Club Brawl

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Grizzlies Statement: 'Zach Randolph Remains A Valued Member Of The Grizzlies Family'

It's not exactly "no comment," but essentially, that's the official stance in Memphis. Via SB Nation's Straight Outta Vancouver, we have the Grizzlies official response to today's "double-double" from Z-Bo:

“Since Zach Randolph became a member of this organization, he has been an active member of the Memphis community and embraced our core values of hard work and leadership. These qualities helped him develop into an NBA All-Star this season and guided one of the NBA’s youngest teams to a 16-game improvement.

“Zach’s continued commitment to the team has been evident the last couple of weeks as he’s been working out with members of our staff on the West Coast.

“Due to the ongoing police investigation, we do not feel it would be appropriate to comment further. Unless some other information surfaces, Zach remains a valued member of the Grizzlies family and Memphis community.”

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2nd Report: Police ALSO Investigating Zach Randolph For 'Strip Club Incident'

On the heels of Wednesday night's report putting Zach Randolph at the center of an Indianapolis drug investigation, TMZ reports, in addition to the accusations in Indianapolis, a second incident occurred this week at a Los Angeles strip club, Starz.

According to the report, a member of Randolph's entourage "badly beat" a man named Gary Ferguson, the second time Ferguson has had a run-in with Randolph and his entourage.

In 2008, the man sued Z-Bo after allegedly being attacked at a pizza parlor.

***YOU SIMPLY CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP***

No charges have been filed at this point, but jeez. Pretty terrible morning for Z-Bo and his legal team, huh? At least he's in the NBA and not the NFL. Pretty sure Roger Goodell would have had him executed by now.

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Some Highlights From Zach Randolph's Crazy History

In honor of this morning's open-ended, completely legitimate question—"Is Zach Randolph bankrolling the Indianapolis drug trade?"—let's look back at Zach Randolph's history.

There are a lot of stories out there, but this article, from last summer in the Memphis Commercial-Appeal, provides some pretty definitive anecdotes from the man we've affectionately dubbed "Z-Bo." First, from 2007 in Portland:

When Zach Randolph asked team officials for some time off after his girlfriend's cousin was murdered in March 2007, the Portland Trail Blazers granted the talented but troubled forward "bereavement leave" to attend the funeral back home in Indiana. But the next night, while the Blazers were losing to Seattle, Randolph was across town at the Exotica International Club for Men. He left in the wee hours, without paying his tab.

And then there was that DUI after a Christmas party:

He could be so charming and affable, generous enough to spend some time with children at a Christmas function that December... even though he appeared intoxicated and was charged that night with driving under the influence after police smelled marijuana in his car.

And probably my favorite moment of all...

He could be so competitive on the court ... and on the streets of Portland, where police cited him for drag racing with friends at 3:15 a.m. in June 2006.

Gotta love good 'ole Z-Bo.

That last one's like an uncensored version of all those Michael Jordan poker stories we hear. "Yeah, he's so competitive, he won't even lose in poker!" With Zach Randolph... it becomes, "Yeah, he's so competitive he holds backroads drag races at 3 am!"

...And that, my friends, is why he's Zach Randolph.

So forgive me if I find this drug news hilarious, and not horrifying... My faith in NBA superstars has not been shaken to the core. Per usual, Zach Randolph's in a league of his own. And yeah, we should probably include an "Innocent-till-proven-guilty" caveat...

But at the same time, It's Zach Randolph! His nickname is Z-BO.

So, "A troubled millionaire named Z-Bo funded a weed operation in his hometown?"

GET OUTTA TOWN.

The same guy that inspired this criminal complaint?

The woman who filed the complaint said Randolph was disappointed that the [paid] sex show had only simulated sex and refused to pay her. After the show, she said, she had consensual sex with Randolph's friend and then fell asleep or "passed out." She claimed she awoke and found Randolph trying to have anal sex with her. She told investigators she awoke and "slapped" Randolph away twice. Ultimately, she told police that Randolph lifted her onto a table and had sex with her while she shook her head "no," the memo says.

The same guy with an MTV Cribs episode that inspired the Portland Gang Enforcement squad to look closer at his "unsavory friends"?

Just before he was traded to the Knicks, someone on the gang enforcement team at Portland Police Department told me to pick up the MTV Cribs episode that featured Zach Randolph because the police had a copy, and noticed some disturbing details about the unsavory people who hung around Randolph.

How can this be! (Oh, wait.)

With this one, save your shock and outrage for something juicier. It's funny and sort of sad, but not exactly surprising. It's Zach Randolph. Terrible decisions are like oxygen to Z-Bo.

The NBA still Cares, but over time, Z-Bo's made it abundantly clear... He doesn't give a f--k.

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Report: Grizzlies' Zach Randolph Implicated In Drug Investigation

According to a report out of Indianapolis, the Memphis Grizzlies' Zach Randolph has been implicated in an ongoing investigation into the city's drug trade. For Randolph, it could prove another crushing blow to a reputation that's long been on shaky ground.

As a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, L.A. Clippers, and New York Knicks, Randolph frequently found himself in the news for the wrong reasons--fights, suspensions, and arrests. But this year, his career enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, as he led the Grizzlies to surprising success, earning himself an All-Star berth, and perhaps, we thought, turning a corner.

Now? Well, this report might temper the "Zach Randolph has changed!" storyline:

According to the affidavit, the Cadillac Escalade that Boyd was driving was registered to [the Grizzlies' Zach] Randolph, and police found marijuana and ammunition stowed inside.

"One of his vehicles had what we call hidden compartments that contained suspected narcotics, that being marijuana," said Lt. Jeff Duhamell. Based on information found in the Escalade, police later raided a northeast side storage facility, where they said Randolph rents four lockers.

According to the affidavit, a police K-9 alerted to controlled substances in two of the four units, and police found more cars with secret compartments inside.

So, his car's were being used to transport drugs and guns... Storage lockers that'd been purchased in his name were being used to store drugs and guns...

Wait a second, is Zach Randolph bankrolling the Indianapolis drug trade?

Over at SB Nation's Straight Outta Vancouver, they're reserving judgment on this one. But it certainly doesn't look good for Z-Bo. As they write, "this seems to suggest that he hasn't completely cut ties with his shady past." And it continues:

The Grizzlies are prepared to come out fully in support of Z-Bo, and will likely roll out a press conference on the subject before this story makes major waves. After the Wizards late reaction to the Gilbert Arenas ordeal this season, I think publicly acknowledging even the slightest hint of an investigation will become the status quo around the Association. 

What I will say is this -- this is a risk the Grizzlies were willing to take. There's a reason we were able to effectively trade Darko Milicic for Zach Randolph, an All-Star. Even if you personally change, once you've been involved in the criminal lifestyle, it's incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to completely avoid that past. Carmelo Anthony found that out the hard way in the "Stop Snitching" video, and the Grizzlies are about to learn the lesson too.

It's still early and there's still nothing proving Zach Randolph knew about the drugs or guns being stored in the vehicles and storage lockers that he purchased, but... That whole sentence just screams "GUILTY OF SOMETHING." We'll keep you updated as news trickles out from Indianapolis.

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