Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph, who once played for the Los Angeles Clippers, pleaded no contest Wednesday to a misdemeanor count stemming from his arrest last month at the Nickerson Gardens housing project in Watts.
The 36-year-old NBA player was placed in a diversion program in which he will have to complete 150 hours of community service in connection with his plea to one count of delaying an officer. He was also ordered not to associate with any known narcotics sellers or users, according to Frank Mateljan with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office.
Randolph, who was initially charged with one count each of misdemeanor marijuana possession and resisting arrest, will be allowed to withdraw his plea and the case against him will be dismissed in a year if he completes the required community service hours and doesn’t have any other run-ins with the law, Mateljan said.
Randolph was arrested around 4:30 a.m. Aug. 10 and released on $20,000 bail within four hours.
According to police, officers were conducting an investigation in the area of 112th Street and Zamora Avenue beginning about 10 p.m. Aug. 9 when a large crowd began to form, with some people smoking marijuana. Officers put out a help call, requesting backup.
Police set up a skirmish line, and people in the crowd threw objects at officers. Five Los Angeles Police Department patrol cars were vandalized in the ensuing confrontation, along with one Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department vehicle, according to police, but no injuries were reported.
Randolph, a two-time NBA All-Star, signed a two-year contract worth $24 million with the Kings in July after playing eight years with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he was a fan favorite and the team announced plans to retire his jersey.
Randolph has played in the NBA for 16 years, including a 2008-09 stint with the Clippers. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in April 2009 while driving a white Rolls Royce in the Del Rey area, leading to a two-game suspension from the team.
–City News Service
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