Pretty much since high school, people haven’t thought Zach Randolph was the nicest guy in the world. That’s the kind of reputation an illegal gun-running operation will get you, even as a high schooler. Adding various bizarre strip club incidents, fighting teammates, bouts of on-court laziness and being suspected as the kingpin of a running a major marijuana operation to that certainly doesn’t help. A lot of not so great things have happened to Zach Randolph in the short time we’ve known him, which has led to the label he’s worked so hard to shed in Memphis.

But that’s the thing — in Memphis, he’s been perfect. Tries hard on defense, rebounds like crazy and is a go-to scorer on offense. He’s fit in with the team and even hit a huge three that helped guarantee the franchise their first home playoff victory ever. In Memphis, he’s been everything you want from Zach Randolph and nothing you don’t want. It’s been awesome.

Still he fights those labels, the one that he’s a team cancer and a malcontent, even though he doesn’t think he deserves it. From the Sporting News:

“I feel like I’ve been misunderstood, though, too,” Randolph said. “One thing about this NBA, somebody says that a guy is a butt-hole and then the next guy who doesn’t even know you (repeats) it, because people talk in this league. People who don’t know you hear something and go with it.”

Very true, Zach Randolph. Also very funny that you said “butt-hole.” Way to self-edit to appease your constituents. Hilariously 1993, but definitely a good move.

And he’s (partially) right. I’m sure he’s been misunderstood, to an extent. It’s hard to argue with breaking a teammate’s eye socket or this play, but we only hear good things about Zach Randolph now. He’s older, more mature and a valuable member of a playoff team, but it’s still not uncommon to hear that he’s the kind of guy who is what’s wrong with basketball. Like Ron Artest, the stupid things he did when he was young will always partially define him in a lot of people’s eyes. That’s too bad, because he’s been amazing the past two seasons, both on and off-court.

Plus, he’s great with the quotes. Here’s his description of himself:

“[I’m] a hard-working guy. A friendly man. A good teammate. And I love to play this game.”

See? Excellent quote, excellent description. What’s not to like about Zach Randolph? All aboard the Z-Bo train.

(via Marcel Mutoni)

Comments (1)

  1. Actually we all said Z-Bo was a black hole.. but he had more assists than TOs for the first time this year, so even that’s not true anymore.

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