The league-wide moratorium has been lifted, meaning NBA franchises can announce their free agent signings as they become official. In the case of the Memphis Grizzlies, this also means officially saying goodbye.
Confirming what was already known by those of us following the free agency proceedings, the Grizzlies posted a letter to Zach Randolph thanking him for all he has done for Memphis and the franchise as he leaves for the Kings. In a move that is rarely done while a player is still actively in their league, Controlling Owner Robert Pera and General Manager Chris Wallace also announced today that they will be retiring the #50. As Pera himself put it...
#50 will never be worn by another member of the Memphis Grizzlies.
It is a powerful acknowledgement of what Zach means not just to the Grizzlies organization, but to the city of Memphis. There is only one “#50 for the city”, and it would be wrong for anyone else to put in that jersey and play for the Grizzles. The fact that Z-Bo’s career is continuing is irrelevant...at least it is irrelevant in Memphis.
A fitting tribute to the man who helped define an era and ignite the soul of his city. He may be Sacramento bound, but today’s events help guarantee he will always be a part of Memphis and these Grizzlies.