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Zach Randolph’s Thuggery Still Haunts Portland

Powerful column from John Canzano in the Oregonian today about a bouncer who was shot to death in Portland on New Year’s Day. The shooter? One of Zach Randolph’s old running mates from the “Hoop Family,” which is described as “Randolph’s unsavory band of friends of acquaintances.” According to Canzano, the reason Sebastian Telfair was busted with a gun a few years ago was because a “Hoop Family” member threatened him. Then, there’s this:

The basketball organization hired a private investigator in 2007, who returned with a three-inch file on his activities and the “Hoop Family.” A couple of months later, Portland traded Randolph to the Knicks for what amounted to Channing Frye and a Steve Francis contract they later bought out. Basically, flushed him. Done.

Which is why we’re stunned Randolph hasn’t gotten into any trouble in Memphis – well, there was this report from a police informant in Indianapolis – and wasn’t part of the OJ Mayo-Tony Allen fight on a team plane recently.

Our all-time favorite Randolph moment (2nd place: the time he sucker punched Ruben Patterson) might have been this one, from our interview in 2007 with Canzano:

“When ‘Sheed comes back, make sure you don’t have your back to him. He’ll sucker punch you.”

Thug or not, anyone looking out for a reporter is cool in our book.

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