The first NBA games of the 2010-11 season are still over three months away, but Zach Randolph was in mid-season form Monday at IUPUI. Participating once again in Carlos Knox's Indy Pro-Am Summer league, Randolph showed when he is on the court, he means business.
"These young guys have got a lot of talent, playing hard, we get some good work out here," said Randolph following his 21-point 13-rebound performance in the Red teams' 74-70 victory over the Black team in the first of three games Tuesday night at "The Jungle"
Randolph teamed up a couple of other familiar faces with NBA experience, former Pacers Eddie Gill and Fred Jones. Most of the players on the court had some connection to the Indiana's rich basketball tradition. This is important to Randolph, who led Marion high school to the 2000 Class 4A State Championship.
"Just to play with guys from your own state, it's important for young guys coming up in college and high school and some playing overseas also. It shows what we've (Indiana) got. I've been doing a lot of bragging about Indiana basketball," added Randolph.
Randolph is one of many former IHSAA playing in the NBA, one of them, Lawrence North graduate Mike Conley plays with Randolph in Memphis. "A great point guard, he's from Indiana. We've got a young team, we just gave Rudy (Gay) a new deal and we're keeping this team intact."
While the future may be bright for the Grizzlies, Randolph received quite a bit of bad press in May when he was implicated, but never charged in a drug case. According to sources close to the case, Randolph is not currently part of any pending case although his vehicles are still in police possession. One of Randolph's acquaintances who was arrested while driving one of Randolph's SUVs does having a pending drug charge.
Randolph did not specifically address the incident and spoke only on his summer in general saying, "Things are going well. I'm just spending time with my family in Indiana, working out and getting ready for the season."
While Randolph has just one, albeit very lucrative $17.33 million, season left on his contract. Memphis officials have publicly discussed interests in re-signing Randolph to a new long-term deal. The 2010 NBA All-Star reiterated those plans Tuesday.
"Me and my agent (Raymond Brothers) we're working on a deal with Memphis. A lot of good things are going on in the league and it's going to be exciting this year," said Randolph, who averaged 20.8 points per game this past season. When pressed for more details on his negotiations, Randolph responded, "We're trying to work out an extension right now with Memphis, so stay there for a couple more years."
Randolph will continue playing in the Indy Pro Am Summer League sponsored by St. Vincent Sports Performance through next Tuesday and Thursday when the Semi-Finals and Finals are held on the campus of IUPUI.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun