Zach Randolph Placed on Indefinite Leave After Mother Dies on Thanksgiving

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2016

MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 30:  Zach Randolph #50 of the Memphis Grizzlies shoots a free throw against the Denver Nuggets on March 30, 2016 at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph was granted an indefinite leave of absence from the team following the death of his mother, Mae Randolph, on Thanksgiving. 

The Grizzlies released a statement on Friday, per Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated:

According to ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon, head coach David Fizdale commented on Randolph's status: "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."

Fizdale also revealed his message to the team with regard to supporting Randolph, per Ronald Tillery of the Commercial Appeal: "My message to the team was let's make sure we keep our hands on him. Let's surround him with love and support. If it was switched around, he would do the same for us. He's such a great guy and great teammate. It's been a really difficult 48 hours."

The Grizz are off to a hot start this season at 10-5, and Randolph's successful transition from the starting lineup to the bench is a big reason for it.

The 35-year-old veteran is averaging 14.2 points and 7.9 rebounds in just over 22 minutes per contest. That production is comparable to what he did in nearly 30 minutes per game as a starter last season.

Randolph's presence will be hard to replace for as long as he is away from the team, as the two-time All-Star has the ability to dominate in the paint.

Starter JaMychal Green figures to get even more playing time during Randolph's absence, while second-year man Jarell Martin and rookie Deyonta Davis could see increased action as well.

       

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