NBA veteran Zach Randolph delivered the news to TMZ Sports that he no longer planned to make a return to the league, and confirmed that information Saturday with a heartfelt message of gratitude.
“I gave this game my all, and it gave everything back and more,” Randolph wrote on social media. “Basketball will always be a part of me. From Marion, to East Lansing, to Portland, NY, LA, Memphis, Sacramento, and everyone in between – thank you all for an incredible journey.”
One love. 🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/aZmUTbD2eS
— Zach Randolph (@MacBo50) December 28, 2019
Originally drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2001, Randolph played 17 seasons in the NBA with the Blazers, New York Knicks, LA Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.
Randolph sat out the entire 2018-19 season, as the Dallas Mavericks waived him in February, after bringing him aboard in a trade with the Kings.
The former Michigan State Spartan finished his NBA career averaging 16.6 points and 9.1 rebounds per game.
Perhaps Randolph’s most significant contributions came during his time with the Grizzlies, where he helped to usher in the Grit and Grind era with a franchise that became a consistent sellout after years of empty seats at the FedEx Forum. In Memphis, Randolph averaged 16.8 points and 10.2 rebounds, playing a key role in the club advancing to the playoffs for seven consecutive seasons.
“One of the nicest human beings that I truly admire,” former teammate Tony Allen told NBA.com. “Salute to his hard work and dedication to the game. Ultimately, he is my brother and one of the pioneers of the GNG era.”
Real one!!! Legend https://t.co/7wiZXVT2SD
— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) December 28, 2019
Led by Randolph’s 31 points and 11 rebounds in Game 6 of the 2011 opening round of the Western Conference playoffs, the Grizzlies knocked off the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs. At the time, the Grizzlies were one of two No. 8 seeds to unseat a top-seeded foe since the league expanded the opening-round series to a best-of-seven format. In 2007, the Golden State Warriors defeated the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks in six games.
Randolph competed in 70 postseason contests, in addition to finishing five seasons averaging more than 20 points per game and nine more averaging 10 rebounds or more.
Randolph, 38, finished his career as Memphis’ all-time leader in field goals and rebounds.
Grizzlies majority owner Robert Pera said back in 2017 that no other player in the franchise will ever wear Randolph’s No. 50 again.
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