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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