Fourteen Years After Lifetime Ban, Roy Tarpley Settles Mavs, NBA Suit

Every few years, Dallas Mavericks fans are reminded of the team's greatest failure -- not the loss to Miami in the NBA Finals, not the one-and-done against Golden State in '07, not the 11-win season under Gar Heard. Rather, it's two simple words: "Roy" and "Tarpley," whose travails and tragedies have been recounted here and elsewhere to the point of tedium at this late date. Former Mavs assistant Clifford Ray, who was Tarpley's babysitter his first go-roundhere, told me in 1998, "I think everybody in Dallas has wanted Roy to succeed not just as a basketball player but as a human being in terms of his addictions and his demons he's had to deal with."

But his demons got him expelled from the league for good after an ill-fated Mavs comeback in 1995. Which is why, in September 2007, he sued the Mavs and the NBA in federal court. He claimed they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to reinstate him to the league in 2003. Read his '07 complaint, "Tarpley is a qualified individual with a disability within the meaning of the ADA, in that he has a disability in the form of past drug and alcohol abuse, which substantially limits at least one of his major life activities."

But now this chapter of Tarpley's life comes to a close: Yesterday, his Houston-based attorney, Joe Walker, told the Houston Fox affiliate that the suit had been settled earlier this month -- how, he wouldn't say. Only, "The matter has been resolved." The legal docs offer no further details either.

Update: Richie is not pleased.