Zach Randolph

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

There's a new Kings' No. 15 in town; Sacramento settles on uniform numbers

There's a new Kings' No. 15 in town; Sacramento settles on uniform numbers

The change from Adidas to Nike isn’t the only switch going on with the Sacramento Kings uniforms this season. Plenty of new faces have joined the roster and the influx of veteran talent has forced some players to make a change in number.

Vince Carter has sported the No. 15 dating back to his time at North Carolina. He’s also worn the number in stops in Toronto, New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix and Memphis, with the only exception coming during his time Dallas, where he had to wear 25 because the Mavericks had retired Brad Davis’ No. 15.

Carter will wear No. 15 in Sacramento, displacing rookie Frank Mason III. Counting Mason, Carter is the 27th Kings player to wear 15, including DeMarcus Cousins, who wore the number from 2011-2017.

Mason will swap to No. 10, bringing back memories of former point guard Mike Bibby. It’s the 26th time the No. 10 has been worn by a Kings player, including legends Jack Twyman and Nate “Tiny” Archibald. Ty Lawson wore No. 10 last season in Sacramento.

George Hill will wear No. 3 this season with Sacramento, like he has in his previous stops in San Antonio, Indiana and Utah. The addition of Hill forces a change for second-year big man Skal Labissiere, who swapped to No. 7 for the upcoming season.

Hill becomes the 21st player in franchise history to wear the No. 3, joining the likes of Randy Brown, Vernon Maxwell, Gerald Wallace and Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Labissiere is the 15th Kings player to don the No. 7, including Danny Ainge, Bobby Hurley, Jimmer Fredette and Darren Collison from last season.

Bogdan Bogdanovic has worn both 7 and 13 in his time in Europe. But with Labissiere swapping to 7 and Georgios Papagiannis wearing the No. 13, he’ll give No. 8 a shot in Sacramento. Only eight past Kings have chosen No. 8, including Eddie Johnson and more recently Rudy Gay.

Malachi Richardson chose to wear No. 5 last season, but with the departure of Ben McLemore, he was able to snare No. 23 for the upcoming season. Richardson is the 17th player to ask and receive permission to wear 23. The number holds a special place in Kings’ fans hearts from the five year stretch the power forward Wayman Tisdale wore it. Kevin Martin made No. 23 look good from 2005-2010, as well.

Lastly, veteran big man Zach Randolph will wear his standard No. 50. It’s the same number he’s worn in stops in Portland, New York, Los Angeles (Clipper) and Memphis over his 16 year NBA career. He’s only the seventh player to sport 50 in Kings history, including Ralph Sampson and Eddie House.