In one of the more bizarre moves of the week, the Memphis Grizzles are retiring Zach Randolph’s No. 50 jersey. Yes, that Zach Randolph, the one that is still in the league and just agreed to a two-year, $24 million contract with the Sacramento Kings.
So, there’s a few things I don’t like about this.
- Zach Randolph is an active player.
- He’s on another team right now.
- It’s Zach Randolph.
I get it, the Memphis Grizzlies are a young franchise. But, Zach Randolph is a guy who is never going to sniff the hall of fame. Let’s not put him on such a high horse.
I think the Grizzlies should retire his jersey eventually. Because, they’re the Memphis Grizzles and he’s the best player they have ever had. But, it would be a better look if they even waited until one day after he retired. It’s a weird look to retire a guy’s jersey while he’s playing for another team.
Yahoo Sports: “Zach Randolph agreed to terms earlier this week on a two-year, $24 million contract to join the Sacramento Kings, marking his departure from the Grindhouse after a remarkable second act to his career spent helping transform the Memphis Grizzlies into a viable NBA franchise. For eight years, Randolph lorded over the low post at FedExForum, battering opposing front lines with hip checks and haymakers before stepping back to unleash beautiful, arcing lefty jumpers over the top of stirred and shaken defenders, and helping define one of the most authentic and remarkable cultures in the NBA.
For eight years, the Grizzlies knew that when it was time for a bucket, they could feed No. 50. Now, they’ll never do it again.”
This fucking open letter to Zach Randolph from the Grizzlies too…
Dear Z-Bo and Grizz Nation,
It’s always about basketball — but sometimes it’s about more than basketball. That’s when it’s special.
The eight years Zach spent in the mud, in Memphis, are special. They are filled with franchise-defining basketball success, but they are so clearly about more than that. Every Memphian felt it and all of us believe it.
Zach helped establish what it means to play for the Grizzlies on the court and in the community, and in doing so helped forge an identity for our City.
His numerous on the court accomplishments speak for themselves. He is our all-time leader in field goals, rebounds and of course, takedowns.
He is a proud civic leader and an extraordinary hands-on community benefactor. It is no coincidence that our collective dedication to service in our communities and our pride in Memphis surged during his time here.
The Grit for me is raising my three children to be positive every day. That is my Grit. And the Grind is getting up every day to work at a job that really doesn’t want to allow me to spend the time I need to be with my children. That is my Grind. I have to Grind for my kids.—Erica Johnson— ‘Mama Bears’ — an upcoming short film—
Grit & Grind is more than a motto to us, it has become a civic code of conduct and cultural ethos. It’s the way we do things in Memphis and at the Grizzlies. The best way for the team, the organization and for the City of Memphis to honor and respect the foundation built on Zach’s broad shoulders is to continue to Grit & Grind.
To Zach — Thank you for all the joy and magical moments too numerous to count. Thank you for the energy and excitement you brought each and every night to FedExForum. Thank you for your leadership and service. Thank you for your larger than life impact and for keeping all Memphians warm. Thank you.
While there will be a time and place to recognize your lasting impact in Memphis, starting today, as stated earlier by Controlling Owner, Robert Pera, number 50 will never be worn by any other member of the Memphis Grizzlies.
From Memphian to Memphian, thank you and best of luck to you and your family.