Kings

Randolph arrest puts Kings in (familiar) uncomfortable situation

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AP

Randolph arrest puts Kings in (familiar) uncomfortable situation

SACRAMENTO, CA -- For the second straight season, the Sacramento Kings are in the uncomfortable position of having to answer questions about the off-court actions of one of their veteran leaders.

After spending plenty of time last December on Matt Barnes’ arrest and eventual guilty plea for his role in a nightclub skirmish, the Kings were hit with another development Thursday morning. 

Recently signed big man, Zach Randolph, was booked in a LA County for felony possession of marijuana with the intent to sell.

“We are aware of the situation. We have no further comment at this time,” the Kings responded when reached for comment.

It’s not the news that any team wants to wake up to, especially one in rebuild mode. Randolph, a 16-year NBA veteran, signed a two-year, $24 million deal with the Kings in July. Randolph, along with Vince Carter and George Hill were brought in to mentor the young core of the team that includes 10 players with two years or less in the league, five of which are rookies this season.

Like Barnes, this isn’t the first run in with the law for Randolph. In fact, Randolph has found trouble multiple times in his life dating all the way back to his high school days. He struggled during his time with the Trail Blazers early in his career and there has been concerns over the company he keeps in the past.

“As always with Randolph’s life away from basketball, you never know the full story and you never knew if it was his fault, or his fault for hanging around the wrong people, or nobody’s fault,” Jonathan Abrams wrote in his comprehensive piece on Randolph for Grantland in October of 2012.

At the time of Abrams piece, Randolph was a 31-year-old player who was entering his 12th season in the NBA. Abrams chronologs Randolph’s stops in juvenile detention for a myriad of offenses as a teen, as well as arrests for underage drinking and even a fight with a former teammate during his time in Portland.

But by most accounts, the 36-year-old power forward has matured both on and off the court as he made his way through the league. He has become a family man, a respected veteran and according to his agent, the latest snafu is nothing more than a misunderstanding.

"The charges are false and misleading," Randolph's agent and attorney Raymond Brothers told the AP on Thursday. "We're looking at all options to resolve this matter."

The Kings are at the mercy of the courts and then the league. There are very few options they have in this circumstance until the legal process has moved beyond the initial investigation stage. Like the Barnes situation, Sacramento will likely take a patient approach and wait for more details to emerge.

Despite his legal issues last season, Barnes remained with the Kings until the All-Star break when the team cut ties with the veteran wing. They chose to pay out his remaining year and half left on his deal and reboot the locker room down the final 30 games of the season.

The Kings are counting on Randolph to mentor their fleet of young bigs, including Skal Labissiere, Harry Giles, Willie Cauley-Stein and Georgios Papagiannis. He is also a player that averaged 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game last season and he is very familiar with head coach Dave Joerger after their time together in Memphis.

Sacramento needs Randolph to be both the player and the leader that they hoped they were getting when they handed him $24 million in guaranteed money. His latest entanglement is an unwanted distraction that once again thrusts the franchise into an uncomfortable situation. 

Kings big man Zach Randolph arrested for drugs

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USATSI

Kings big man Zach Randolph arrested for drugs

Veteran NBA star forward Zach Randolph was arrested on a marijuana charge after several police cars were vandalized when a large gathering became unruly at a Los Angeles housing project, authorities said Thursday.

Randolph, 36, was taken into custody late Wednesday on suspicion of possessing marijuana with intent to sell, according to Los Angeles Police Department Officer Liliana Preciado.

"The charges are false and misleading," Randolph's agent and attorney Raymond Brothers told The Associated Press on Thursday. "We're looking at all options to resolve this matter."

When reached, the Kings issued the following statement: "We are aware of the situation. We have no further comment at this time."

Police on patrol observed a crowd drinking, smoking pot, blasting music and blocking streets at the Nickerson Gardens project in Watts, Preciado said.

Officers called for backup when the crowd grew and people began throwing bottles and rocks.

Five police cars and one sheriff's vehicle ended up with smashed windows and slashed tires. No officers were hurt.

Officers also arrested Stanley Walton, 43, on suspicion of carrying a gun as an ex-convict, Preciado said. She didn't know if Walton has an attorney.

Police recovered two guns, impounded two vehicles and seized narcotics, Preciado said.

Randolph, a 16-year league veteran, spent 8 seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies before signing a two-year, $24-million deal with the Sacramento Kings in July. 

The two-time NBA All-Star played for Michigan State University before being drafted in 2001 by the Portland Trail Blazers. Randolph also played for the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Clippers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Cousins ready for Sacramento return vs Kings: 'Oh my God, I can't wait'

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USATSI

Cousins ready for Sacramento return vs Kings: 'Oh my God, I can't wait'

New Orleans Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins is excited to play the Sacramento Kings this season. In other news, the Earth is round and the Moon is not made of cheese. 

“I can’t wait,” Cousins told The Undefeated’s Marc Spears during the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders camp in Johannesburg, South Africa. “Oh my God, I can’t wait. I’m praying it’s the first game. I just got a lot to get off my chest. I can’t wait.” 

Cousins played his first six-plus seasons in the NBA with the Kings before being dealt, along with Omri Casspi, to the New Orleans Pelicans during All-Star weekend earlier this year. 

The 26-year-old All-Star planned on signing a long-term deal and hoped to finish his career with the Kings before the surprising trade. Clearly it will be an emotional evening for the star center when the Pelicans roll through the Capital City. 

Cousins was a fixture in the Sacramento community, donating to local high schools and sponsoring a free basketball camp at Sacramento High. Despite being traded, Cousins returned again this summer to continue his camp.

“I miss the community. I miss the people. I miss the fans. That’s it,” Cousins told Spears. 

A polarizing figure on the court, Cousins grew into one of the most dominating big men in the league during his time with the Kings. At the time of his trade, the Kings were just a game and a half out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race. They finished the season 8-17 after the trade, nine games behind the Portland Trail Blazers for the final postseason berth.  

The NBA schedule is due out sometime in the next few weeks.