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Stanley Roberts' redemption: "When the NBA suspended me I contemplated suicide"

On Thursday, June 29 at 22:00 CEST, Movistar+ premieres 'The Redemption of Stanley Roberts', a documentary by Informe+ about the life of Stanley Roberts, the American centre who signed for Real Madrid in 1990 when he was barely 20 years old.

The move came after being Shaquille O'Neal's "twin tower" at LSU and then playing in the NBA from 1991 to 1999.

The documentary includes testimonies about Roberts such as: "I have never seen a more unstoppable force than Stanley Roberts", "he would run over anyone, he was an impressive thing" and "Stanley Roberts' talent was superior to Shaquille O'Neal's".

In 1999, Roberts was the first player to be suspended for two years by the NBA with its new anti-drug policy.

"I don't know how the drug got into my system because I don't remember taking it. I've been in the NBA for eight flawless years and at the drop of a hat I get kicked out," he apologised at the time.

In Report +, almost 25 years after the suspension that cost him his career, Roberts admits that "when the NBA suspended me I wanted to disappear. I contemplated suicide."

How did Stanley Roberts, the centre "more talented" than Shaquille, come to Real Madrid?

Stanley Roberts, who did not play his first season in the NCAA due to academic problems, was only able to play one year with Shaquille O'Neal at LSU (a team where the Spanish co-captain Mike Hansen was playing), averaging 14.1 points and 9.8 rebounds in 32 games.

"Stanley had much better low post moves; he had a much better offensive quality than Shaq. He was much better, much better than Shaq, and almost any American center at that time. At the end of the season the grades weren't what he expected, it was hard for him to go to class and he couldn't bring himself to renew his scholarship", explained Mike Hansen to Javier Balmaseda in 'Planeta ACB'.

The following season, Roberts, who was late to register for the NBA Draft, decided to sign for Real Madrid.

A young man of 20 years old, 2.15 metres and 130 kilos arrived in Madrid and from the first moment he impressed fans and rivals.

"I was nicknamed 'The Beast of Madrid'. I beat all the European players", Roberts told 'Planeta ACB' in 2021.

Roberts left Real Madrid with ACB averages of 11.8 points and 8.8 rebounds and being runner-up in the Korac Cup.

Roberts' NBA career after leaving Real Madrid

The colossus from Hopkins (South Carolina) entered the 1991 NBA Draft, where he was selected by the Orlando Magic in the first round with the 23rd pick.

Roberts played in the NBA for the Orlando Magic, Los Angeles Clippers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia Sixers, averaging 8.5 points and 5.2 rebounds in 300 games.

In November 1999, Roberts was banned by the NBA for drug use, allegedly ecstasy.

After leaving the NBA he played for Efes Pilsen (Turkey), San Diego Wildfire (ABA) and Gallitos de Isabela (Puerto Rico).

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