When Zach Randolph gives extended interviews about anything, we all need to pay attention. When he gives extended interviews explaining an on-court beef with Kendrick Perkins that led to a post-game confrontation that got him fined $25,000 by the NBA?
You got fined $25,000 for confronting Oklahoma City’s Kendrick Perkins. Did you whoop his ass?:
“I didn’t whoop his ass; that’s the thing about it. Hopefully I get some back. I’m trying to get some back. I was surprised. … They said it was because I went through the double doors. I guess I went on their side. I don’t know.”
Are you guys lunatics? You both went to the back after getting ejected and were going to fight?:
“You know what, I tell you, those basketball games, they get real emotional. Two guys, it’s physical, emotional, it gets rough down there. And emotions flared. One thing can lead to another on the court.”Because Z-Bo is an American treasure.
But it sounded like Perkins was talking to Marc Gasol on the court, not you?:
“Well, you know, when you’re talking to Marc, you’re talking to me. That’s how I roll, on the court or off the court. And that’s the same way with him. I think he got mad because Marc, remember that move? Marc had crossed him over at the elbow and had the pump fake. I said, ‘Oh my gosh, bust his butt, Marc,’ walking down the court.”
Did you try to go in their locker room?:
“Nah, I didn’t try to go in their locker room. There are some doors … and their locker room was right there to the left and I had went through some doors into the hallway. … Lesson learned. It won’t happen again. I ain’t going to lose now $25,000 again. I’m done with all that bluffing on the court because them guys do a lot of bluffing. I’m from the bluff city; we don’t do no bluffing, man.”
Could you whoop his ass?:
“Hahaha. I’m good with these hands. I’m a jacking dude. I’m pretty good with these hands. Every day I came out the house, I had to fight, so me and my brothers. … I’d say [I've probably been in] too many fights to count. Probably about 30 or 40. We’re talking about, like, from middle school and freshman year, mainly when I was young.”
How many have you lost?:
“I’d say [my record would] be about 28-2 or 28-4. … I used to fight older guys, because once older guys, they’ve got their chest high. … We never backed down. … They wasn’t even in our weight class, but they respected us.”
So what's your favorite part there?
- "I'm pretty good with these hands..."
- "Oh my gosh, bust his butt, Marc!"
- "I didn't whoop his ass; that's the thing about it"
- "Them guys do a lot of bluffing. I’m from the bluff city; we don’t do no bluffing, man.”
It's hard to say, so instead of choosing let's just all agree to be thankful for Z-Bo this week. He also said that Rasheed Wallace was the best trash talker in the NBA, and added, "Me and him it's all love. That's my man. He's a great guy, a great teammate, just a great person. He gots to talk. 'You too little! He too little!' Talk to the other team, talk to the coaches. That's just Rasheed. He say everybody too little to guard him."
And what does Z-Bo say back?
"I use that on him. HE too little."
Toward the end, after talking about his fighting career, he mentioned Tony Allen: "Tony's like a little bull in a China shop. He's serious." I love the Memphis Grizzlies.
But maybe the best part of the interview was when Vernon told Z-Bo that Erik Spoelstra compared Marc Gasol to Arvydas Sabonis, Z-Bo's former teammate in Portland. Because you can tell Z-Bo's just thrilled somebody asked him about Arvydas, and even if Sabonis is one of the most underappreciated players of the past few decades, Z-Bo's response is proof that legends trickle down regardless.
That's what Coach said down there in Miami? You know what that's crazy. I always tell Marc that. I always tell him that you're like Sabonis, man. Marc is the best center in the game. Hands down, skill-wise, he makes the right pass, he plays the right way. He picks and chooses and he still dominates the game.
Oh man, he was great. He used to make some crazy passes. Just off the block. If you cut he might hit you behind his back, over his head, under his leg, any kind of way. He was a good guy man. Sabonis was a good guy. I learned a lot from him. And it's funny because I always talk about him. I talk to Marc about him. If you ask Marc when you see him, I always speak about Sabonis.
'I'm Sabonis, Marc!'
'I'm Sabonis on the block today. Y'all cut!'
The NBA is just the best. (And we should all hang out with the Memphis Grizzlies soon.)