Breaking news has come across the NBA's newswire. According to the league office, Zach Randolph, the Memphis Grizzlies' power forward and anchor of their team, has been suspended for the deciding game 7 vs the Thunder.
Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph has been suspended one game without pay for punching Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in the jaw, it was announced Friday by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.
The incident occurred with 6:42 remaining in the fourth quarter of Memphis' 104-84 loss to the Thunder on Thursday, May 1, at FedEx Forum.
Randolph will serve his suspension on Saturday, May 3, when the Grizzlies visit the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Here is the play that got Randolph suspended, but we can't quite tell what worked him up enough to throw the punch.
And in slow motion:
And on animated GIF loop:
So, yeah. Randolph definitely punched Adams in the face/neck and it is pretty hard to argue otherwise. Steven Adams has made a bit of a name for himself in his rookie campaign with a physical style of play combined with a zen-like peace over his face that seems to drive other guys crazy. We even dubbed it a "Kiwi Tech" whenever Adams' play provoked someone else to overreact and pick up a technical. It happened to Vince Carter and also Larry Sanders, and now it is costing Randolph a chance to play in game 7.
We've had a lot of fun with Adams and how his physical play has caused other players to lose their minds temporarily, but I can't help but feel that with this game, in this series, both teams deserved to be at full strength.
At Grizzly Bear Blues, they are surprisingly...serene.
Let's pour a drink for our homie tonight, but don't everyone go losing their minds (okay lose them, but just try and remember where you left them in the morning.) We still have Marc Gasol. He's good at basketball. And just remember: even with Zach and possibly Mike Conley being out, there's still ZERO percent chance that Gilbert Arenas, Hamed Haddadi or O.J. Mayo will be on the court during the fourth quarter tomorrow.
What impact do you think this will have on game 7? Comment below!