Zach Randolph cleared of marijuana possession charge in plea deal

Zach Randolph earned three NBA Community Assist Awards during his eight years in Memphis. (AP)

Los Angeles prosecutors dropped the misdemeanor marijuana charge against Zach Randolph in exchange for the Sacramento Kings forward’s no contest plea to one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest and his commitment to 150 hours of community service, according to multiple reports.

[Now’s the time to sign up for Fantasy Basketball! Join for free]

Randolph was originally charged with felony marijuana possession with intent to sell following an early August incident in which police discovered “a large crowd of people smoking, playing loud music and blocking the roadway” in L.A.’s Nickerson Gardens neighborhood. Police said Randolph was one of three men who left the scene and one of two who ran into an area home. He was reportedly arrested as a crowd that had attempted to block the officers from the home began vandalizing their vehicles.

According to the Associated Press, court documents stated that Randolph was in possession of “more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or more than four grams of concentrated cannabis or both,” which would exceed the one-ounce amount legalized for recreational use in California. However, prosecutors reduced charges against him in late August to misdemeanor counts of possession and resisting arrest.

Two weeks later, the marijuana charge was thrown out in exchange for Wednesday’s plea deal, which would also clear Randolph of the resisting arrest charge if he completes 150 hours of community service and steers clear of legal trouble for the next 12 months. He must also “not associate himself with or be around drug dealers as part of the terms of the deal.” TMZ Sports first reported the details.

“As we have said from the beginning, the reports regarding Zach Randolph were false and misleading. After being accused of marijuana possession, all charges have been dropped,” Randolph’s agent Ray Brothers told the AP. “He was never arrested with any marijuana in or on his possession. He has been cited for delaying a police officer. It’s defamatory for someone to say anything to the contrary.”

Our Dan Devine did a fine job detailing Randolph’s legal troubles during his 16-year NBA career:

In 2010, he was implicated as a “major marijuana supplier in Indianapolis” after a longtime friend was “arrested with a cooler full of marijuana while driving Randolph’s car.” One year later, a “small drug deal went sour” at the former Portland Trail Blazers big man’s home in Oregon, resulting in the beating of a suspected dealer with pool cues and a subsequent tense search of Randolph’s mansion during which Randolph reportedly “ignored a deputy sheriff’s order until the deputy aimed his handgun at Randolph’s ‘center mass.’” Randolph never faced charges in either incident.

Randolph signed a two-year, $24 million deal with the Kings this past July. He spent his previous eight seasons as a beloved member of the Memphis Grizzlies, including two All-Star appearances. Soon after he signed with the Kings, the Grizzlies announced plans to retire Randolph’s No. 50 immediately.

Additionally, Randolph’s community service seems like a mere formality. In Memphis, his charitable work helped forge a special bond with the city. A three-time recipient of the NBA’s Community Assist Award, Randolph was known to serve in ways ranging from buying tickets for underprivileged Grizzlies fans to paying their utility bills, so presumably his required 150 hours of service will come naturally.

– – – – – – –

Ben Rohrbach is a contributor for Ball Don’t Lie and Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rohrbach_ben@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

What to Read Next