03.24.05

Back From The Grave Dept. Roy Tarpley

Posted in Basketball at 4:50 pm by

Barred from the NBA a decade ago for repeated substance abuse violations, could F Roy Tarpley return to the bigtime? From Dallas Basketball.com’s Mike Fisher.

So many of the Roy Tarpley rumors that have surfaced in recent years have such a dark tone that one NBA exec recently told us, “I’m pleasantly surprised to hear he’s even alive.” But this Roy Tarpley rumor — talk of the former Mavs star making a comeback to the NBA — is more than just gossip, sources tell DallasBasketball.com, noting that at least five NBA teams have responded to his stated interest in returning to basketball by doing background checks on the troubled big man.

Want an indication of disinterest from the Mavs, Tarpley’s employer until December 1995 NBA? We get it from owner Mark Cuban, who politely tells DB.com, “We wish Roy well in his pursuits.”

But Tarpley, who recently appeared as a fan at a Mavs game and said, “I’ve got some big news happening soon. … It ain’t over yet,” has clearly piqued the interest of clubs who remember Tarpley as the rare 7-footer with all-around basketball skills. Teams are making phone calls to old Tarpley acquaintances around Dallas, wondering who he is associating with, wondering who he has new bonds with. One person with close ties to Tarpley says teams are doing this legwork because they seem interested in adding him as soon as possible, to be included in their a playoff run.

Skeptical? Who can blame you? Tarpley is 40, has not played big-time basketball in a decade, and carries an all-time volume of baggage. Yes, he had (or has) a chemical problem, having been suspended from the league for substance-abuse issues. But he likely also represents a chemistry problem. By reputation, Roy Tarpley is a walking, talking headache (except maybe for young teammates who don’t even remember who is he, which might be a good thing.)

When the teams complete their background checks, they will find that while Tarpley may have straightened up his act in many areas, there are still responsibilities yet to be met, debts yet to be paid, relationships far from being mended.

One friend says Tarpley is about 265-to-270 pounds, that he could play himself into shape in a month. There might be questions about whether he can still get up and down the court, but a 7-footer who can rebound and shoot has some value.

Ex-NBA star and coach John Lucas, who runs a drug-treatment facility in Houston, has been supervising Tarpley for a year. Lucas told the Dallas Morning News, “He’s doing what he needs to do. He might have the ambition to play basketball again.”

Can he still play?

“Skill-wise,” Lucas said, “absolutely.”

7 Responses to “Back From The Grave Dept. Roy Tarpley”

  1. Tosha Nicole Rutledge/Tarpley says:

    hello my name is Tosha and i am looking for my mother Cassundra Tarpley and i was hoping that you might know where she is or how i could contact her!

  2. L says:

    Hi, Tosha. I don’t know where Cassandra is, but you have a cousin by the name of Wes, who is Cassandra’s brother Wesley’s son, you might be interested in getting to know.

    I’m Wes’s Mom. If you are interested, please feel free to contact me at jsyk@hotmail.com.

  3. Dawn Finley says:

    I am Roy’s ex-wife and although I do not know how to reach Cassandra or Wesley, I do know how to reach their mother. Please email me at dawnfinley@yahoo.com and I will forward her your contact information.

    I am the mother of Harmoni who would also be a cousin to your children.

  4. George Russell says:

    I would like to say, Roy is one of the most likeable people I’ve ever had a chance to meet. My brother was on the Mavs w/ Roy for his entire career. I’m sure you remember Wilma Harper, (Derek’s mom) she loves you and we all wish you the best of luck. We still live in West Palm Beach, Fl. And would love it if you were part of the Miami Heat, you would be a perfect fit. If you have a chance to read this, please drop us a line at hitmeup4@yahoo.com. Take care & god bless.

  5. alex says:

    whatever happened to the comeback? followed Roy when he joined the mavs. felt he had nba long term super star talent. hated to see things didn’t work out w/ all his God given talent. hope all is well for Roy. i ended up getting signed cards of james donaldson, rolando, derick, mark aguirre, but never one of Roy. any idea if he ever does any signings? still a mavs fan, but will never forget that group that got so close to the finals. let me know. thanks! alex

  6. C says:

    Ya what did happen? I searched Roy Tarpley on yahoo to see what I could learn about him as a basketball fan born after he was drafted and 2 when he was banned, and this page came up. Someone needs to find him and answer some questions, like if he still plans to return.

  7. Kyle says:

    For those that know how to get in touch with Roy I would like to drop him a line. I met him when I was about 13 which was in 1986. My family owned a paint and body shop that did work on his Mercedes, Fine Arts Auto Body and I still have the pic of me and Roy that was taken at the shop. He gave me and my step-father, Bill Golden, tickets to the games. I always loved watching him play and he is a great guy to know….very nice. I never forgot about Roy and was always wondering how he was doing. WHEN he returns, I will be excited to see him play again. I would like to give him a buzz, but he might not remember me. If anyone would pass on a message to him and let me know how he is doing. You can email me at abcs123s23@yahoo.com