Fort Worth, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Former Dallas Mavericks star Roy Tarpley, a talented center whose promising career was cut short by legal scrapes and suspensions, died Friday. He was 50.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban confirmed Tarpley's death on Twitter, sending condolences to the former first-round draft pick's family.
"Mavs fans everywhere will remember you fondly," Cuban tweeted Friday evening.
Online records for the Tarrant County (Texas) medical examiner list Tarpley's place of death Friday afternoon as the intensive care unit at Texas Arlington Health Memorial Hospital. No cause of death is listed.
According to the Dallas Morning News, members of the Mavericks' traveling party were told when they arrived in Los Angeles on Friday that the cause was liver failure.
Tarpley, who stood 6-foot-11, was drafted No. 7 overall by the Mavericks in 1986 out of Michigan. He was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year following his second season, when he averaged 13.5 points and 11.8 rebounds over a career-high 81 games.
He never played more than 55 games over the next seven years, sitting out three seasons in a row between 1991-94 due to suspensions related to alcohol and drug abuse. He was banned for life by the NBA in 1995.
Tarpley averaged 12.6 points and 10 rebounds in 280 NBA games, all with Dallas.