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Zach Randolph: From NBA Star to Business Executive

A look into four of NBA star Z-Bo’s business ventures

by Victor Adetimilehin

Zachary McKenley Randolph, known on the courts as “Z-Bo,” imprinted a memorable career in basketball from the high school gyms of Marion, Indiana, to the echoing arenas of the NBA. Before his professional rise, Randolph’s ability on the court was notable and undeniable, leading Marion High School to the state championship game, where he nearly clinched Indiana’s “Mr. Basketball” title. His stellar performance at the 2000 McDonald’s All-American Game, where he was named MVP, was a glimmer of the impactful career he would have ahead of him. Entering the 2001 NBA draft, he began a professional journey that saw play for several teams, including a transformative tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies, where he achieved All-NBA Third Team honors in 2011, and brief stints with the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, and Sacramento Kings, before his retirement announcement in 2019.

Randolph’s career, marked by both brilliance and controversy, mirrored the complex nature of professional sports. Drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers, his early years were shadowed by off-court issues, earning the team the nickname “Jail Blazers.” Yet, on the court, Randolph’s talent was undeniable, resulting in a Most Improved Player award in 2004. His trade to the Knicks, and later to the Clippers and Grizzlies, showcased his resilient spirit and ability to adapt on the court. With the Grizzlies, Randolph found a team that embraced his brave, formidable playing style, leading them to historic playoff victories and earning himself two NBA All-Star selections. Moreover, His venture into the Big3 league post-retirement, alongside his significant contribution to the Memphis Grizzlies’ legacy—cemented by the retirement of his jersey—speaks volumes of his long-lasting impact on basketball.


Randolph, alongside his friend Marcus Howell, established NLess Entertainment in 2016, marking the foundation of their independent record label based in Memphis as co-founders. The success of NLess Entertainment has coincided directly with the ascension of its first signee, MoneyBagg Yo, owning two platinum singles, “Wockesha” and “Time Today”. However, NLess isn’t limiting its reach to music, they are into sports management and are making progressive moves to branch into TV and film.


Zach Randolph, along with Al Harrington and Josh Childress, represents a trio of former NBA players who have made investments in the South East Melbourne Phoenix, a team in the Australian National Basketball League (NBL). Owned by Romie Chaudhari, the Phoenix gained the support of these seasoned basketball professionals, highlighting their commitment to the team’s growth and success.


Zach “Z-Bo” Randolph and Marcus “Head” Howell, the minds behind NLess Entertainment, embarked on a pioneering venture by investing in Connect Music Group. Owned by Black entrepreneurs, this company champions the cause of independent musicians, offering them a platform to follow their dreams while maintaining control over their musical works. Its platform ConnectDeck, allows users to distribute music through which the user can have a better reach


Throughout his NBA tenure, Zach Randolph also dedicated himself to real estate ventures. He frequently engaged in conversations about property investments with peers like Anthony Tolliver. Together, they contributed to several investment projects, including a 55-plus-year-old multifamily community called Black Rock in Nixa, Missouri.

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