NBA’s Zach Randolph Arrested for Marijuana Possession With Intent to Sell; Here’s a 6-Step Guide to How He Got Caught Slippin’

Zach Randolph, No. 50, and Mike Conley, No. 11, of the Memphis Grizzlies during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals of the  NBA playoffs at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., on May 27, 2013
Zach Randolph, No. 50, and Mike Conley, No. 11, of the Memphis Grizzlies during Game 4 of the Western Conference finals of the NBA playoffs at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., on May 27, 2013

Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph was arrested Wednesday on a felony charge of marijuana possession with intent to sell. Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department were called to the Nickerson Gardens projects in Watts because residents were allegedly blocking a street while playing loud music and smoking marijuana.


When police arrived, three members of the group reportedly ran and were caught by police. One of the runners was later identified as Randolph. He was arrested and charged with possession with intent to sell because of the large amount of marijuana reportedly found in his possession, ESPN reports.

“According to the police report, Randolph was arrested at 11 p.m. PT, booked at 4:23 a.m. and released Thursday morning as bail was set at $20,000. His next court date is scheduled for Aug. 31, according to sheriff’s department’s online records,” according to ESPN.


OK, that’s the newsy part of this story, but let’s walk through all the mistakes Randolph made that led to his arrest.

1. He’s 6 feet 9.

Have you ever seen anyone 6 feet 9 in real life? They look like a moving lamppost, and as such, it’s impossible for them not to be obvious. In fact, I once had a 6-foot-9 waiter, and I felt bad for him. Not because he was a waiter but because he was a 6-foot-9 waiter, which means he couldn’t slack off. He could never just chill behind the bar and not help customers. Among his co-workers, he looked like the giant kicking it with the Wildings. There was no way you couldn’t see him.

And then there was the obvious: all of the questions about why he was a waiter and not playing basketball. I wondered how tired he got of having to field questions about why a career that he may not have ever chosen or wanted wasn’t happening. No person should have to field that. As a light-skinned guy, I’ve never been asked, just because I’m a light-skinned guy, why I’m not in an R&B group (the profession of most light-skinned guys), but I have had to field questions about which one of my parents is white, so I kind of knew his pain. The point is that anyone above 6 feet 5 stands out in a crowd, especially if that crowd is drinking and smoking weed.

2. He’s a famous basketball player.

Add to Randolph’s height the fact that he’s a famous basketball player and you have double trouble. Unlike the waiter, Randolph really does make a living playing basketball, a lucrative one (which I will address in my next point), so his image is well-known. Not sure how he thought he wouldn’t be obvious, but alas, this is a classic case of “when keeping it real goes wrong.”


3. He’s paid.

Whenever I hear that a professional athlete is caught doing regular nigga shit, I’m always baffled. Randolph has made $150 million during his career, so I’m unclear why he doesn’t have a cousin or friend on the payroll whose job it is to go pick up his weed.


Let me make this clear: I don’t smoke weed, but I don’t give a shit who does. It’s a mild drug that has proved to have more health benefits than alcohol, so I don’t care who partakes. But I think you have to be smarter when you are a 6-foot-9 public figure. This arrest wouldn’t have been on ESPN had Randolph just sent his cousin Lucas Venderhausen to pick it up.

Also, why are you mad that I made his cousin’s name Lucas Venderhausen? I guess you wanted a blacker name? Racist!


4. He was in the Nickerson Gardens projects in Watts.

I don’t know anything about the West Coast project scene, but I have heard enough N.W.A and seen enough episodes of Snowfall to know that this isn’t a place where a 6-foot-9 NBA player needs to be. I don’t want to stereotype the projects of California or the neighborhood of Watts, but according to Snoop Dogg videos, this sounds like a lot of bouncing old cars and gutted oil drums turned into makeshift fireplaces. I also imagine a lot of ill-fitting khakis, at least one long Jheri curl, definitely a colored rag hanging out of the back of someone’s ill-fitting khakis, and Chuck Taylors. Always Chuck Taylors. Great—now I’ve just stereotyped an entire neighborhood. Point is, a 6-foot-9 NBA player shouldn’t have been there.


5. Randolph can’t run.

On a good day, with the wind at his back and wearing the newest technology that Nike has to offer, Randolph is slower than a slug stuck in a McDonald’s syrup boat. He’s slower than the mailman on payday Friday. He’s so slow that the police were like, “Hey, Zach Randolph, stop walking at a moderately altered pace!” when they saw Randolph running. Randolph is notoriously slow, so the idea that a 6-foot-9, really slow NBA player tried to run from police is hilariously stupid.


6. Who the fuck buys all the weed they are going to need in their life in one purchase?

Randolph was charged with intent to sell because of the amount he was caught with. Who knows how much that was, but it was enough for police to charge him with intent to sell, and I know good and well that Randolph isn’t out here selling weed. Which means that he had a lot of weed for personal use, and maybe he got it a discount price, which I can’t blame him for because I, too, love a good sale, but come on, dawg.


Let this be a lesson to the rest of you really tall weed smokers, and feel free to use this as a guide.

Read more at ESPN.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.


Tomi Marchant

Ultimately, all your guidelines, though well intentioned, are bullshit. Cannabis should not be illegal and the War on Drugs is really just a War on Minorities.

We shouldn’t have to jump through so many hoops (pun intended) to individually use non-violent plants. Nothing infuriates me more than the double standard of drug enforcement.

Let’s call it exactly what it is: A new form of of slavery where the plantations have just become prisons.

ETA: You very obviously don’t smoke if you don’t know “intent to sell” amount of bud ain’t all that much, like at all.