ZACH Randolph may have left Memphis to join the Sacramento Kings, but the fan-favorite forward will forever be remembered by the Grizzlies.
The franchise paid tribute to Randolph on Thursday (Friday, Manila time) with an emotional tribute, starting with an open letter signed by general manager Chris Wallace and president of business operation Jason Wexler.
“Thank you for all the joy and magical moments too numerous to count. Thank you for the energy and excitement you brought each and every night to FedExForum. Thank you for your leadership and service. Thank you for your larger than life impact and for keeping all Memphians warm. Thank you,” the team officials wrote on the letter to Randolph.
Grizzlies owner Robert Pera also declared in a separate letter that the team is retiring Randolph’s jersey number.
“You helped turn a lottery team into a perennial playoff contender. You helped make a basketball team a model of community service. Thank you for all that you put into this community and organization. #50 will never be worn by another member of the Memphis Grizzlies,” wrote Pera.
The team’s tribute also came with a touching video, while Grizzlies star Mike Conley posted his own send-off to Randolph as well.
#50 Forever pic.twitter.com/B8r4rxnmp0— Mike Conley (@mconley11) July 6, 2017
Randolph agreed to a two-year, $24 million deal with the Kings on Tuesday, ending his eight years in Memphis where he became the franchise’s leading rebounder and third highest all-time scorer in leading the team to seven straight playoff appearances.
The 16-year NBA vet averaged 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds in an off-the-bench role last season for the Grizzlies, down from his career norms of 16.8 points and 9.3 rebounds.