Roy Tarpley was both talented and troubled through his all too brief NBA career. Tarpley played the power forward and center positions, earning an NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award in 1988. Despite his talent, Tarpley became notable during his career for being banned from the NBA because of his drug and alcohol abuse. He did have some success playing in Europe.In 1986 he was selected by the Dallas Mavericks in the first round, with the seventh pick of the NBA Draft. Tarpley made the NBA All-Rookie Team in his first season.
However, six games into the 1989–90 season, he was arrested for driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest, and suspended by the NBA. In March 1991, he drew another suspension after being arrested for DWI again. A few months later, he notched a third violation and was banned from the league for violating the NBA’s drug-use policies. He returned to the Mavericks briefly in 1994, but was then permanently banned from the NBA in December 1995 for using alcohol and violating the terms of a court-imposed personal aftercare program. He finished with NBA career averages of 12.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
On January 9, 2015, Tarpley died at the age of 50. No cause of death was given.
Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday salutes the late and talented Roy Tarpley.
|1991–1992||Wichita Falls Texans (CBA)|
|1992||Miami Tropics (USBL)|
|1998–1999||Apollon Limassol (Cyprus)|
|1999||Esperos Kallitheas (Greece)|
|1999–2000||Ural Great (Russia)|
|2000–2001||Beijing Olympians (China)|
|2003–2004||Sioux Falls Skyforce (CBA)|
|2005||Dodge City Legend (USBL)|
|2005–2006||Michigan Mayhem (CBA)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NBA statistics|
|Points||3,533 (12.6 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,803 (10.0 rpg)|