Zach Randolph Went Into Hiding After Shattering His Teammate’s Eye Socket, Fearing He Was Going To Shoot Him
Zach Randolph has enjoyed a lustrous career in the NBA in which he played for 17 years. During his career, he was most recognized as being the top dog who put the Memphis Grizzlies on the map. Embodying the “Grit n’ Grind” mantra, being a traditional old school bully—Z-Bo was easily beloved by fans.
But the narrative on Randolph was different before he went to Memphis. He was part of the notorious Portland Trail Blazers team also known as the ‘Jail Blazers’. The team became popular because of the character issues and terrible antics of their players. Randolph, as a young player, was one of the players who tainted the image of the team.
One story that involves Randolph goes back to the 2003 NBA season. During a scrimmage between Ruben Patterson and Qyntel Woods, Randolph decided to take Wood’s side. The incident escalated and Patterson ended up with a broken eye socket from a sucker-punch by Randolph.
It didn’t help that Randolph kept battling with Patterson, one of the league’s more intimidating personalities and someone who had been arrested three times between 2000 and 2002 (including once after police charged him with attempting to rape his children’s nanny).
Patterson often targeted and taunted Randolph, with their bad blood culminating during a 2003 practice: Randolph noticed teammate Qyntel Woods arguing with Patterson and came to Woods’s defense, sucker-punching Patterson. (Remembers Stoudamire, “I didn’t see what had happened because I had got the steal, so I was going the other way. Then all I heard was, ‘Come on, Zach.’ I turned back around and it was chaos.”) After Patterson suffered a fractured eye socket, Canzano later recalled that “there was a period of a few days after that incident where Randolph hid out at Dale Davis’s house because he feared that Patterson was going to try and shoot him.”
No team in history consisted of as many notorious figures as this Blazers team. The team was full of negative headlines, on and off court issues and unpleasant incidents. This Randolph-Patterson story is just one of many.
Randolph, though, eventually changed the narrative around him. After playing six seasons with the Blazers, he jumped from the New York Knicks to the Los Angeles Clippers, before eventually landing in Memphis with the Grizzlies where he went on to save his image, while building a good reputation as a teammate and a player.
Z-Bo has last played for the Sacramento Kings in 2017-2018, which was also his final year.