Former Memphis Tigers star Tyreke Evans banned from the NBA

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 |  Memphis Commercial Appeal

Staff report

Former Memphis Tigers star and Grizzlies forward Tyreke Evans has been banned from the NBA for violating the terms of the NBA’s anti-drug program. He will be eligible to apply for reinstatement in two years, according to NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.

The Indiana Pacers, whom Evans played for in the 2018-19 NBA season, released a statement about Evans’ ban: 

“The Indiana Pacers were informed Friday by the NBA that Tyreke Evans has been dismissed from the league for a violation of the league’s anti-drug policy.  

“We take these matters seriously and will reach out to Tyreke to offer our support.” 

The NBA’s list of drugs of abuse include amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine, LSD and opiates.

Marijuana is not a drug of abuse under NBA’s drug policy.

The 29-year-old was set to become a free agent July 1 after one season with the Pacers, his 10th season overall in the NBA.

The 6-foot-6 guard played for John Calipari’s final team at Memphis and was the featured scorer (17.1 points per game) on the 2008-09 Tigers team that advanced to the Sweet 16. Evans left the program for the NBA after one season. The Sacramento Kings drafted Evans fourth overall in the 2009 NBA draft.

Evans returned to Memphis and played for the Grizzlies during the 2017-18 season, where he enjoyed a career renaissance (19.4 points per game and career highs in 3-pointers made, player efficiency rating and true shooting percentage in 52 games).

There is a recent precedent for NBA players being dismissed from the league. Chris “Birdman” Andersen was expelled for violating the anti-drug policy in 2006 and was reinstated in 2008 after spending a month in rehab.

O.J. Mayo, who began his career with the Grizzlies, was dismissed from the league for violating the anti-drug policy in 2016, and has not applied for reinstatement. Mayo has continued to play basketball in Asia.

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