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Associated Press 79d

Zach Randolph charged with misdemeanor pot possession, resisting arrest

NBA, Sacramento Kings

LOS ANGELES -- Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph has been charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and resisting arrest following an incident this month when a large gathering became unruly at a Los Angeles housing project, prosecutors said Thursday.

The two-time NBA All-Star had initially been arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana with intent to sell -- a felony -- but Los Angeles city prosecutors instead charged Randolph with misdemeanor drug possession.

Court documents say the 36-year-old Randolph possessed "more than 28.5 grams of marijuana or more than four grams of concentrated cannabis or both." Randolph also is accused of resisting arrest and obstructing a Los Angeles police officer in the discharge of the officer's duties.

Randolph is scheduled to appear in a Los Angeles courtroom Sept. 14, said Rob Wilcox, a spokesman for the Los Angeles city attorney's office, which is prosecuting the case.

Randolph's attorney and agent, Raymond Brothers, did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages seeking comment Friday. He has previously said the charges against his client were "false and misleading."

Randolph was arrested Aug. 9 at the Nickerson Gardens housing project in Watts after officers observed a crowd of people drinking, smoking marijuana, blasting music and blocking streets, police have said.

The officers observed three people, including Randolph, run off but immediately stopped one of the men, police said. Randolph and another man ran inside a home and were arrested after a crowd of bystanders formed and attempted to block the officers, police said.

After the arrests, the crowd grew and people began throwing bottles and rocks, police said. Five police cars and one sheriff's vehicle ended up with smashed windows and slashed tires, but no officers were hurt.

Randolph, a 16-year NBA veteran, spent eight seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies before signing with the Kings in July. The Kings issued a statement Thursday saying the team was aware of the situation and would have no further comment at this time.

Randolph played for Michigan State and was drafted in 2001 by the Portland Trail Blazers. Randolph also played for the New York Knicks and LA Clippers.

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