Roy Tarpley played six total seasons for the Dallas Mavericks, but underwent multiple suspensions for substance abuse after his first five, before returning to appear in 55 games during the 1994-95 campaign.
He was permanently banned from the league in December of 1995 after violating the terms of his aftercare program.
Tarpley has reportedly passed away at the age of 50.
Former Mavericks’ center Roy Tarpley has died at age 50. Cause of death was not immediately known although when the Mavericks arrived in Los Angeles for their game Saturday against the Clippers, several members of the traveling party had been informed that liver failure was to blame.
The 6-11 Tarpley was the seventh pick in the 1986 draft by the Mavericks out of Michigan. In his second season, he was the NBA’s sixth man of the year before drugs and controversy shrouded the rest of his six seasons in the league.
According to a medical examiner’s report, Tarpley’s death happened at Texas Arlington Health Memorial Hospital. It is a sad ending to one of the most gifted talents ever to play for the franchise. Tarpley had a rare combination of strength and speed that made him one of the best athletes of his era.
Tarpley averaged 12.6 points and 10.0 rebounds during his NBA career, played entirely as a member of the Mavericks.