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NBA / Jul 16, 2013 / 3:45 pm

Happy Birthday, Zach Randolph! Here’s Why He’s One Of The NBA’s Toughest Players

Zach Randolph

Zach Randolph, Dime #19

I have no idea how, but Zach Randolph turned just 32 years old today. Doesn’t it seem like he’s older? The old man game. The invisible hops. The old school flavor. Z-Bo could’ve thrived in any era, and as great as he is now — one of the best low-post players in the NBA — Randolph would’ve been even better in the ’80s and ’90s when post play mattered and power forwards weren’t asked to make jumpers and defend 20 feet from the rim.

I might come across as someone who loves flash, style and ballhandling, but Z-Bo has always been one of my favorite players. His 2003 Portland team that nearly made history still gets play on the old VCR. Randolph came off the bench for most of that season before being inserted into the starting lineup during Game 4 of the Western Conference First Round against Dallas. Portland was down 0-3. The Blazers won the next three games, with Z-Bo going for 25/15, 22/9 and 21/10. He started the following season, soon won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award and was soon awarded a $84 million extension. The rest — eight straight years averaging somewhere around 20 points and 10 rebounds while turning into one of the league’s toughest players — is history.

Which players would you want next to you in a dark alley fight?

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