Tue Aug 23 10:15am EDT
Here's the good news. Portland area police say they believe that Memphis Grizzlies forward (and sometimes Portland resident) Zach Randolph(notes) did not beat a suspected drug dealer over the head with a pool cue over the weekend.
Beyond that? It's not looking too good for Z-Bo, who had apparently cleaned his off-court life around in the two years since he was traded to Memphis.
Police suspect that Randolph invited a gentleman by the name of James Ruben Beasley to a party at his West Linn, Ore., mansion early on Sunday morning, with the expectation that Beasley would be selling marijuana to his party guests. Randolph and his friends were celebrating into wee hours following a chartered cruise on the Willamette River.
"Mr. Beasley said four to seven people jumped him and beat him bloody with pool cues," said Sgt. James Rhodes, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office spokesman.
But Beasley didn't call 9-1-1. Instead, he left and went to a local hospital, where he was treated for head wounds and released.
At 2 p.m. Saturday, he called police. Clackamas County sheriff's detectives met Beasley in Portland and interviewed him. Based on what he told them, the detectives obtained a search warrant for Randolph's home to seek evidence of an assault and drug activities.
"He said he knew Zach Randolph and that he was not involved (in the beating)," Rhodes said. "Therefore, he was not a suspect."
Though there wasn't a struggle to search Randolph's home later on Sunday, one officer described Randolph's party-goers as being "less than welcoming" even after the police showed up with a signed warrant. And once they did get inside, while drugs weren't found on the premises, police allegedly did find broken pool cues and blood evidence in which to work with.
Randolph's time in Portland wasn't much to be proud of, off the court. He was charged with a physical assault, named in a sexual assault case, was cited for DUI and famously punched teammate Ruben Patterson in the face during practice. And though he's changed quite a bit after playing on four teams in two years between Portland, New York, Los Angeles (Clippers) and Memphis, Randolph was named as a kingpin of sorts regarding an Indianapolis-based marijuana trade in 2010.
This flies in the face of the Randolph who personally paid for the electric and heating bills of hundreds of Memphis-area families last winter, just the tip of the iceberg regarding Zach's charitable contributions. After a good stint staying away from this sort of nonsense, though, it looks possible that Randolph has dived right back in. Perhaps he just took a break from getting caught.
Whatever the timeline, it's an unfortunate step back.