Zach Randolph is one of those NBA players who, for years, seemingly couldn’t avoid a bad situation to save his life. His lack of maturity, coupled with a long stint in Portland (the so-called “Jail” Blazer era) and a brief (and quite comedic) run with the Isiah Thomas-coached New York Knicks, left many to wonder if Mr. Double-Double would ever live up to expectations. After spending about five minutes with the Los Angeles Clippers (the bad kind of Clippers, not the flashy new model), he finally found his place: Memphis. Since joining the Grizzlies in 2009, Randolph has transformed into the devastating low post presence everyone thought he could be.
Along the way, he also matured as a person. He’s far removed from a seemingly cursed situation (Portland), a blinding spotlight (New York) and one of the (then) worst-run teams in the NBA (LA Clippers — okay, fine, the Knicks qualify for this too). Wednesday night, towards the end of a lop-sided loss to Oklahoma City, Z-Bo awarded one lucky fan his shooting shirt. It’s a move that the Z-Bo of three previous NBA stops likely wouldn’t make, yet seems totally normal for the reborn Z-Bo.