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Grizzlies to Retire Zach Randolph’s Number in Outpouring of Gratitude

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The former Trail Blazer is moving to Sacramento but Memphis will always consider him special.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies will retire the number 50 worn by Zach Randolph following his departure to the Sacramento Kings in the 2017 NBA Free Agency period. As part of a day-long outpouring of love, the Grizzlies showed their appreciation on Twitter...

...and in a letter published at NBA.com. Signed by General Manager Chris Wallace and President of Business Operations Jason Wexler, the letter said, among other things:

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.

Randolph was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2001 and played six seasons for the franchise before being traded to the New York Knicks in the summer of 2007 for Channing Frye and Steve Francis. Randolph post 16.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game in his Blazers career, twice averaging 20 and 10 in a season. His departure was seen as “addition by subtraction” because of off-court issues that dogged him and his teammates during the heart of Portland’s “Jailblazers” era. He bounced from New York to the Clippers before finding a permanent home, an embracing community, and a pair of All-Star berths in Memphis.

Gary Parrish, college basketball analyst for CBS Sports and Memphis radio host, ties the bow on Randolph’s turn-around and the importance of his tenure in The River City:

Randolph’s new contract with the Kings reportedly runs for two years, paying him $24 million total.