We Don't Bluff – Bluff City Sports Blog

Z-Bo: A CLASS ACT

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Long time no type to……

Some time has passed since the bittersweet news that our beloved Zach Randolph would be joining his former coach with the Sacramento Kings.

When I first heard the news that Randolph was no longer a member of the Grizzlies I was in disbelief.  How could an organization part ways with someone as impactful as Zach Randolph has been to the Grizzlies and the City of Memphis.

Then I found out that his new contract that was $24 million/2 years.  Of course I would love to see Z Bo grab Z Bounds in the FedEx Forum more than two times per year, but on a personal level I’m happy that he will getting the pay day that he deserves.  I know I’m late getting this post together but I couldn’t find the perfect words to describe how I was feeling about the whole situation.

Friday afternoon after I’m done working my day job I go check my Post Office box.  What do I see other than Sprint’s monthly attempt at getting me to upgrade my devices and add more lines to my account.  Considering that my current phone has been temperamental, on any given day the charger that worked yesterday won’t work today, the apps will freeze at random, and hard & soft resets had become part of my regular schedule, I figured that I might as well see what my options were.

After about 30 minutes  of questions for the Sprint Rep., I had decided to upgrade my phone.  I almost got upset when I was told that I would be out of pocket a $30 activation for my new phone.   But, hey, $30 gets me a new phone today vs  $0 and waiting until next week for the phone to arrive by mail.  I was satisfied but not extremely happy with the outcome.

As I lean against the counter and wait on my new device to be activated, I feel someone one tap me on the shoulder.  I turn around.  Before I could see who it was, I see a hand extended and I hear ” What’s up my guy?” I look up, it’s Zach Randolph.   

I’m shocked because it’s Zach Randolph and  I’m even more shocked that he recognized me.  I’m confused because I just saw him on TV in Sacramento and again I’m even more confused because he recognized me and came to speak.  I was excited because I got a chance to tell him that I was happy for him.  The motivation came when I realized that Zach had remembered me from all of those community involvement events.

After the shock of the moment wore off, I was able to get my words together.  I told him how much I hated to see him leave the Grizzlies, but at the same time I was happy for him that he got paid.  He smiled like he often does.  Then he does something that only a person that knows him could understand.  He asked me how I was doing and how was my WeDontBluff.net coming along.  It took some restraint on my part to not go full groupie mode and pull out my phone for a selfie.  We talked for about another minute or two.  I couldn’t help but to ask him what inspired him to recently donate $1 million for Memphians’ MLGW bill. He paused, gave me the side eye, and without even a trace of smile stated how upset he was about that insensitive prank.Then  I told him that we would be watching and rooting for his to success, he wished me luck with the sports blog,  we dapped each other up and I was on my way.

As I left the Sprint store I realized exactly why Zach Randolph is loved by the city so much.  He is a self described blue collar guy in a blue collar town.  I should not have been surprised when he came and spoke to me because that’s just the kind of guy he is.  That’s why it came as no surprise and seemed only appropriate that the Memphis Grizzlies announced that they would be retiring his jersey.

It had been a while since I the last time I saw him.  I only covered a few Grizzlies games last season and most if not all of those were before the all star break.

I remember covering his first game back after his mother passed.  I knew every one would be offering their condolences and warm words.  I wanted to be different. I wanted to do more.  The FedEx Forum was full of fans that wished they could just get close enough to Z Bo to love on him:

WeDontBluff.net is only about 4 years old.  When we were trying to establish ourselves as a legit media outlet, we would go and cover anything that we could.   Because community involvement events were more accessible than the games, community involvements is what we covered.  On the premise that content is king, every time I received information about anything Grizzlies related, I was sure to put my face in the place.

It wasn’t long before I had covered Zach Randolph passing out Holiday food baskets for Thanksgiving and Christmas:

I also covered Zach Randolph and Tony Allen taking kids, from the Boys and Girls Club,  on a shopping spree just in time for the Christmas Holidays:

 

And there was that one time when Councilman Edmund Ford presented Zach with a Key to The City:

It didn’t take long to realize that it was bigger than basketball with Zach Randolph.  He really enjoys putting a smile on the face of people who might not ordinarily have much to smile about.

 


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