After an iffy start to his career that involved feuds with coaches, teammates, and a general disinterest in putting together the sort of all-around game that contributes to winning basketball, Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph has turned into quite the team leader since being dealt to Memphis in the summer of 2010. Not only did he lead the Grizzlies to the playoffs last year, but by all accounts he's been very professional in his long (though curiously delayed) rehabilitation from injury this season.
But police accounts of one night gone terribly wrong at Randolph's Portland estate last summer are dragging his name right back into the mud. More specifically, police suspect that Zach dragged a bag of weed away from a local dealer without paying, and then told his buddies to drag the dealer's rear end to the curb, but not before they roughed him up real good. And that when police showed up at Randolph's house, it took a drawn pistol to get Randolph to put his hands where the officers could see them. From the Oregonian:
Once inside, deputies found Randolph in bed with a woman and ordered both to "show me your hands." The woman complied, but Randolph continued to hold his hands behind his pillow and under the covers until one of the deputies, concerned they were heading into a physical confrontation, pointed his handgun at Randolph, reports say.
In the ensuing hours of interviews, two women -- one a flight attendant -- gave police false names. All those present denied any knowledge of drugs, despite the strong smell of marijuana in the air, or knowledge of the beating.
The rest of the report details that Randolph apparently balked at having to pay drug dealer James Reuben Beasley $120 for a half-ounce of marijuana. I could text some friends of mine to ask them what a half-ounce of pot usually costs, but I don't want them to get the wrong idea about me and my weekend plans, so I suppose we'll just have to find out just how outrageous a sum that is some other time.
The dealer alleges that Randolph grabbed the bag anyway without paying, and had "six or seven" bodyguards slap him around a bit, including a meeting with the business end of a pool cue. Not the party end, but the business end.
Prosecutors believe that because few will testify against the dealer, and because most of the allegations against Randolph are coming from an admitted drug dealer, that the case is not prosecutable.
And if the allegations are true? Stop having these parties, Zach. No more bags. No more pool cues.