Zach Randolph: ‘My Knee is 100 Percent’
Zach Randolph heard the same question everywhere he went during the offseason. The Grizzlies’ power forward heard it again in FedExForum on Monday afternoon.
So, big fella, how is your knee?
Randolph just smiled as he held court during the Grizzlies’ annual media day.
“My knee is 100 percent,” Randolph said, “and I feel good. It’s a new season. I’m turning the page.”
The book on Randolph last season was that he had no lift, could no longer gobble up rebounds in bunches or bully opponents in the paint. That was after the 31-year-old veteran returned from a knee injury (a partially torn MCL) that cost him 38 games and cut down his confidence.
“Man, working out has made me feel better,” Randolph said. “I know that I can do what I used to do. … I expect big things from myself.”
Randolph returned to an approach to health and fitness called “chameleon training” with University of Memphis strength coach Frank Matrisciano. Suddenly, Randolph was back to climbing pipes that extend from the floor to the ceiling for upper-body training, carrying heavy balls up and down stairs and running in a sand pit with a 30-pound ball.
“Frank works every muscle in your body,” Randolph said. “It’s just tearing down fat and building up muscle. … I tell these young players, I’m 31. I’ve got two max contracts and I’m still working out hard with Frank, running stairs. That’s how dedicated I am. I want to be the best. I’m not just satisfied.”
Griz coach Lionel Hollins lauds Randolph’s commitment to excellence.
“It’s difficult to compare where he is now to then. It’s like night and day,” Hollins said. “The key is not losing conditioning and not gaining weight.”