Discussion in 'Portland Trail Blazers' started by KSF-ERIC, Dec 12, 2021.
A lot of Blazers fans hated him but his career had a happy ending. I always liked him.
I wish we kept him. B-Roy demanded he be traded. We got peanuts for him. Bad decision back then.
Hi message board fans, thanks for your support.
Well deserved, a little surprised they didn't wait for Gasol first. Was always glad he kept it together and stayed in the league.
How did he get it before Gasol?
Zach was real smooth, he woulda been nice to keep.
Proud of Zbo but a bunch of you are totally forgetting the history of him in Portland and what a terrible mess his personal life was here. His personal life was so bad he was either going to end up dead or in prison.
It took cross-country trades to NY and then the Clippers before he finally shook free of most of the Hoop Family.
The Zbo era in Portland was exhausting.
Randolph had made it to the NBA, and that meant his friends had made it, too. He relocated a few of them to Portland, where they showed up in the hallways after home games wearing extravagant necklaces featuring the acronym “H.O.O.P.” (for “Helping Others Overcome Problems”). Really, they were walking baggage — reminders of Zach’s hometown and every potential pitfall still lurking out there. Randolph didn’t help matters by embracing their lifestyle. Even at the tail end of his six-year stint in Portland, Randolph’s friends were still regarded with suspicion. Oregonian columnist John Canzano claimed in 2008, “Just before [Randolph] 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.”
“Down at his core, Zach was and is a good person,” said Jason Quick, a Trail Blazer beat writer for The Oregonian, who covered Randolph’s Portland tenure. “He was also enamored with kind of this gangster life. He wanted to be seen that way.”
Darnell Valentine spent four-plus years with the Blazers in the 1980s and later became their director of player programs, making him almost overqualified to counsel young Z-Bo. He remembers Randolph frustrated by a city that, culturally, was “a little bit of a challenge for Zach. In Portland, when you’re a 6’9″ guy walking around, it’s hard to hide. During that period when Zach was with Portland, it was kind of like Clint Eastwood: the good, the bad, and the ugly. They live and they die by their basketball. You live in a glass house. As a basketball player in this community, there’s nowhere that you can go that’s unnoticed. At the time, I don’t think Zach understood the level of scrutiny and how passionate people were about how he represented this community.”
As the Blazers slowly unraveled and earned the collective ire of the city — eventually firing Mike Dunleavy and replacing him with respected assistant Mo Cheeks — Randolph, as he had his entire life, assumed the tendencies of his environment. Kerr saw a terrible blend for Randolph or any young player — a veteran but immature team. Randolph was learning from the wrong people.
“It was a dangerous mix,” Kerr said. “He could have gone the other way. It’s not like he was going to the Spurs to play with [Tim] Duncan and [Tony] Parker. He was in the midst of some dysfunction as a rookie.”
It didn’t help that Randolph kept battling with Patterson, one of the league’s more intimidating personalities and someone who had been arrested three times between 2000 and 2002 (including once after police charged him with attempting to rape his children’s nanny). Patterson often targeted and taunted Randolph, with their bad blood culminating during a 2003 practice: Randolph noticed teammate Qyntel Woods arguing with Patterson and came to Woods’s defense, sucker-punching Patterson. (Remembers Stoudamire, “I didn’t see what had happened because I had got the steal, so I was going the other way. Then all I heard was, ‘Come on, Zach.’ I turned back around and it was chaos.”) After Patterson suffered a fractured eye socket, Canzano later recalled that “there was a period of a few days after that incident where Randolph hid out at Dale Davis’s house because he feared that Patterson was going to try and shoot him.”
Those Trail Blazers teams were ousted for three straight years in the first round of the playoffs, with a month seldom passing without a Blazer being spotted on the police blotter. If it wasn’t Randolph’s arrest for driving under the influence, it was marijuana found in Stoudamire’s home. If it wasn’t Patterson charged with domestic assault, it was Woods cited for marijuana and brandishing a basketball card to suffice as his identification. You get the picture.
“There was one year where the longest stretch where a player wasn’t arrested, suspended by the league, by the team, or the police weren’t called to their home was 17 days,” Quick said.
Of course. We had lots of troubled players back then. Sad it didn't work out. Sad we traded him for peanuts. Sad B-Roy couldn't get along with Z-Bo or Andre Miller.
Still wish it could have worked out. It was always fun watching Z-Bo get 20-10 with ease.
Congrats to Z Bo....he made Memphis proud and I've heard was a good man at that point in his career...the Grizz needed a jersey retired! Marc Gasol's will be one day I'm sure.
I'm really happy for him. I always loved his ground-bound game. So much skill around the rim. He regularly led the league in getting his shot blocked, but that to me always showed how relentless he was. Just didn't quit. You could question his defense, his height, his brains, but his motor was undeniable.
His off-court stuff was pretty bad, so I don't blame Portland for trading him as part of us getting out of the Jail Blazer era. I always look at him as a great example of team culture, and how its long-term effects can take years to wear off.
He had to be traded from Portland to the Knicks to the Clippers before finally shaking it all off and rejuvenating in Memphis. It was just so typical of him, bouncing back after getting his career stuffed in his face. He was nearly out of the league and he just kept hustling.
He's my all-time favorite ex-Blazer. I love that he's getting his jersey retired.
The man was bad news off the court.
I hear he really got into running trains.
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