Zach Randolph‘s Thanksgiving was marred by a death in the family, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com, who writes that Randolph’s mother passed away on the holiday. As a result of his mother’s death, Randolph has been granted indefinite leave by the Grizzlies, per MacMahon.
“He can take as much time as he needs to take to take care of his family and take care of himself and come back to us when he’s ready to go,” Grizzlies head coach David Fizdale told reporters today. “We’ve got to take care of our brother. Obviously losing his mom on Thanksgiving, I think, was devastating for him and all of us. I think anyone can connect to that, relate to something like that and how hard it could be.”
Randolph, a two-time All-Star, has been coming off the bench this season and is playing just 22.3 minutes per game, his lowest average since 2002/03. However, he continues to be a productive scorer and rebounder for Memphis, putting up 14.2 PPG and 7.9 RPG. His rates per 36 minutes so far (23.0 PPG, 12.7 RPG) are among the best of his 16-year career.
It’s not clear how much time Randolph will spend away from the team, but he will – at the very least – be out of action for tonight’s game against the Heat. Until he returns, Jarell Martin is among the Grizzlies players who could see an increased role.