Remembering Greek basketball legend Roy Tarpley

Former Dallas Mavericks, Aris and Olympiacos player Roy Tarpley has passed away with the cause of his death unknown. He was 50.

“The Dallas Mavericks organization is deeply saddened upon hearing the death of former Sixth Man of the Year Roy Tarpley,” the team said in a statement. “Our deepest condolences go out to his family. Mavs fans everywhere will remember him fondly.”

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The 6-foot-11 Tarpley, who was the seventh overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft out of Michigan, earned the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award in his second season. That was the final full season of Tarpley’s career due to suspensions.

He played for the Mavericks until October 1991, when he was kicked out of the NBA for using cocaine.

With no where to go, Tarpley made the bold move to play in Greece, which at the time, was not recognised as a competitive league in the USA until Tarpley went there, in his prime.

Tarpley spent a season with Aris Thessaloniki, where he won the Saporta Cup and then went to Olympiacos, where he added the Greek A1 league title to his honours.

The American also played in the 1994 Euroleague final while playing for Olympiacos, but his side lost 59-57 to Joventut Badalona. Tarpley scored 12 points that day.

Tarpley then moved back to the NBA, but his career in the spotlight in December 1995, when he was kicked out for using alcohol and violating the terms of a court-imposed personal aftercare program.

Despite his off-court issues, we all always remember him for the magic he produced on the court.

TalkBasket’s John Hobbs contributed to this report.

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