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Ted Green: What was Zach Randolph thinking?

April 6, 2009 |  8:50 pm

Zach Randolph The NBA playoffs are almost here and I'm drunk with excitement.

Apparently, so are the Clippers.

In terms of Murphy's Law -- Everything That Can Go Wrong Probably Will -- the Clippers take your breath away. Or in Zach Randolph's case, your breathalyzer.

The news that the Clippers power forward and leading scorer was pulled over and arrested between 2 and 3 a.m. Monday on the 405 on suspicion of drunk driving was surprising only if you're willing to suspend something as silly as basic common sense.

Raising questions like:

1) If you're making almost $20 mil a year and can afford a white Silver Cloud Rolls Royce, can't you also afford a driver?

2) Wouldn't it be much classier to be sitting in the BACK seat of a Rolls, feet up, watching a rerun of "Arthur" on a flatscreen, rather than becoming just another boring (alleged) DUI statistic?

3) And if you've had a prior run-in with driving and pot, as Randolph did when he was arrested in Portland in 2003 after police smelled marijuana coming from his vehicle, apparently a silver cloud of reefer smoke, wouldn't you try to be just a little more judicious?

Did we learn nothing, fellas from our favorite ode to excess, The Round Mound of Pounding Them Down, Charles Barkley?

According to news reports, Randolph was arrested and transported to the downtown Men's Central Jail, where he spent about six hours.

Apparently this is a very short span of time compared to your average Clippers three-game trip.

In fact, six hours is an eye blink compared to having to spend any part of a season as a Clipper.

Today's arrest continues a tumultuous season for Randolph. He was previously suspended two games for punching the Suns' Louis Amundson during the first quarter of a 40-point Clippers loss to Phoenix. (By the way, many other NBA players have been similarly annoyed by Amundson's ridiculous ponytail.)

Tonight we are looking into a report that, on the bright side, Randolph's blood alcohol level was at least lower than the Clippers' win total of 1.8...oops, I mean, 18.

Obviously no need to ask who is leading the Clippers in double-doubles.
For the woebegone Clips, though, not to be sanctimonious, because bad judgment is hardly in the domain of Zach Randolph alone, this is still pretty much what happens when you bring in players with more baggage than American Tourister.

Of course, there is no more fitting Vehicle Code violation for a Clipper than suspected drunk driving. It's a lot like their view in the NBA standings. Bottoms (looking) up. Allegedly.

-- Ted Green

Ted Green is a former sportswriter for the L.A. Times. He is currently Senior Sports Producer for KTLA Prime News.

Photo: Clippers forward Zach Randolph heads off the court after the Denver Nuggets' 120-104 victory over the Clippers in Denver on Saturday. Credit: David Zalubowski / Associated Press