Memphis Grizzlies legend Zach Randolph was at courtside for the marquee matchup between his former team and the Golden State Warriors. On numerous occasions, “Z-Bo” was applauded by the home crowd every time he was shown on the overhead monitor.
Fans on Twitter promptly sent in their thoughts upon seeing Randolph on screen:
"Why Bro look like a zion boosie mix"
The reference to Zion Williamson, the New Orleans Pelicans' injured superstar, is too obvious not to be recognized by fans. For some reason, the resemblance between the long-retired Randolph and the 22-year-old Williamson is just uncanny.
Zach Randolph was recognized by the Grizzlies as he will also be inducted into the Tennessesse Sports Hall of Fame this summer.
Tonight, the Memphis Grizzlies played with the same heart and hustle Randolph's old Grizzlies teams used to overcome opponents with. "Z-Bo's" grit and grind squads during his career in Memphis endeared him to thousands of fans even years after his retirement.
Without Ja Morant, the Grizzlies jumped on the Golden State Warriors right out of the gates. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole and Jonathan Kuminga refused to wilt despite playing on the second night of a back-to-back set.
Golden State started the second half with their trademark blistering form in the third quarter to close in on the Grizzlies. The home team leaned on first-time All-Star Jaren Jackson Jr. to carry them to the win.
"JJJ" played 29 minutes and finished with 31 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Zach Randolph should certainly be proud of how the home team played.
Memphis had seven players scoring at least 10 points and played with poise and character when the defending champs rallied. After needing overtime to beat the lowly San Antonio Spurs last Friday, the Grizzlies responded in a big way to beat the Warriors.
Zach Randolph's career with the Memphis Grizzlies is underrated
Before the Memphis Grizzlies acquired Zach Randolph in the summer of 2009, the franchise had never won a single postseason game. They went to the posteason from 2004 to 2006. The Grizzlies were swept by the San Antonio Spurs, the Phoenix Suns and the Dallas Mavericks.
Randolph quickly made an impact on the Grizzlies when he arrived to play for the team. He made his first of two All-Star teams in his debut season in Memphis.
The only time the Grizzlies would miss the postseason during his stint with the team was in 2010. Zach Randolph led the eighth-seeded Grizzlies in an upset of the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round in 2011.
The Spurs still had legendary Tim Duncan, Hall of Famer Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker in the lineup that year. Randolph, Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Tony Allen authored the Grizzlies' biggest playoff win in franchise history.
In 2013, the grit-and-grind Grizzlies eventually reached the Western Conference Finals where they were swept by the Spurs. Before the Warriors won the 2015 NBA championship that jumpstarted their dynasty, they were down 2-1 to Memphis in the second round that season.
Randolph's jersey was deservedly retired by the Memphis Grizzlies on December 11, 2021.