Kings forward Zach Randolph reached a deal with prosecutors in Los Angeles to avoid jail time stemming from an arrest in August.
Randolph was sentenced to community service on Wednesday after being charged with marijuana possession and resisting arrest following an incident last month at a Los Angeles housing project, prosecutors told The Associated Press. He entered a no-contest plea during a court appearance and was sentenced to 150 hours of community service, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney’s office.
Randolph could have faced time in county jail: The possession charge carried a possible penalty of up to six months, the resisting charge a year.
“As we have said from the beginning, the reports regarding Zach Randolph were false and misleading,” Randolph’s agent, Raymond Brothers, said in a statement to TNT’s David Aldridge. “After being accused of marijuana possession, all charges have been dropped. He was never arrested with any marijuana in or on his possession. He has been cited for delaying a police officer. It’s defamatory for someone to say anything to the contrary.”
If Randolph completes the community service and has no run-ins with the law of the next 12 months, the resisting arrest conviction will be erased from his record.
Randolph was arrested near the Nickerson Gardens housing project while police attempted to break up a block party they determined had become too large and boisterous.
The Kings signed Randolph, 36, to a two-year, $24 million contract in July. He could still face discipline from the NBA.
It’s not the kind of news the Kings wanted from one of the three veterans the team signed in the offseason as part of their rebuilt roster.
The Kings made a point to find players they believed would be good in the locker room and solid citizens off the court. Along with Randolph, the Kings signed veterans Vince Carter and George Hill to go with a roster that will have 10 players with three years or less of NBA experience.
The Kings viewed Randolph as a player who can help add professionalism to their young squad. Randolph also played for Kings coach Dave Joerger in Memphis, so he can help teach the system, too.
Randolph had off-court issues in his younger days, but hadn’t had any recent problems. In 2010, Randolph was connected to a police investigation in Indianapolis after a vehicle registered in his name was found at a suspected drug house.
Randolph became a community fixture and leader in Memphis, known for his charitable work.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.