Marc Gasol gives Z-Bo a head's up about a fearsome tabby in the parking lot. (Rocky Widner/NBA/Getty Images)
During his 12-year NBA career, Zach Randolph has made it abundantly clear on a number of occasions that he's not scared of anybody on the basketball court. The 6-foot-9, 260-pound Memphis Grizzlies power forward has gone toe-to-toe with some of the league's biggest and baddest dudes over the years, including, most recently, Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins; their November clash resulted in ejections, a $25,000 fine for Randolph and one of the season's great quotes: Z-Bo telling Memphis radio host Chris Vernon, "I'm good with these hands, man. I'm a jackin' dude." (There's also the off-court and past stuff, which only bolster Z-Bo's never-scared bona fides.)
But as a wise man — either Winston Churchill or Jim Carrey in "Me, Myself and Irene," not sure which — once said, just because a man rocks doesn't mean he's made of stone. As he's matured, Randolph has more frequently shown a softer side, engaging in heartwarming charitable endeavors like donating $10,000 last summer to save a pit bull that had been trapped for days in a Memphis drainpipe. Randolph's giving actions and interactions with the rescued pit bull — later named "Little Z-Bo," which is the best — will be featured Saturday on an episode of the Animal Planet reality series "Pit Bulls and Parolees."
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But as Randolph told ESPN Playbook's Sam Alipour in an interview pegged to the episode's Jan. 11 premiere, his love for dogs (he owns several and acts as a spokesperson for the Memphis Humane Society) doesn't extend to all furry, four-legged creatures. Nor, it seems, does his fearlessness:
Read More »from Zach Randolph is scared of cats
Like you, I’m a dog lover. On a possibly related note, I feel, in my heart of hearts, that cats are evil. Feel me?
Naw, you’re right: You can’t be both a dog lover and a cat lover. I’ve got a crazy phobia about cats. For some reason, I’m always thinking they’re going to scratch me. If a cat walks up, I’m going, “Oh no, this dude about to scratch me — I know it!” Cats scare the hell out of me. I love animals, but I’m no cat lover. Guys usually aren’t.