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Former NBA player Robert Archibald dies at 39

Robert Archibald, NBA

Former NBA player, spending some time with the Grizzlies, and Great Britain National Team player, Robert Archibald has passed away. He was 39.

The center-forward picked by Memphis in the 2002 NBA draft out of the University of Illinois was found dead at his home in Illinois last Thursday.

The only Scot to ever play in the NBA, Archibald didn’t stay with the Grizzlies franchise for long and became a journeyman playing for the Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Toronto Raptors.

The 6’11 Archibald played a total of 44 games in the NBA, logging averages of 1.2 points and 1.6 rebounds

After plying his wares in the NBA, Robertson found his way to Europe and enjoyed a successful career as member of Spanish league’s Valencia and Joventut Badalona.

Like his father, Archibald became a vital cog for Great Britain’s Men’s Basketball team highlighted by stint in the 2012 Olympics.

An outpour of sympathy and kind words came from family friends, former teammates and colleagues after learning of his passing.

NBA great and former teammate Pau Gasol expressed his sympathies in social media.

Great Britain and Joventut teammate, Andrew Betts remembers the Scot fondly as one of the nicest and funniest persons he has ever met. Betts also spoke of his sadness upon learning the news of his teammate’s passing.

Scotland’s Basketball chief, Kevin Pringle paid his tribute to the former Great Britain stalwart.

“The news of Robert’s death is a complete shock to us all. He was a wonderful man and a great friend, as well as being a trailblazer and an inspiration to others.”

“Throughout his extraordinary career he always played with pride and determination, and was always a credit to his country, whether representing Scotland or GB at home or abroad.”

“The basketball community has lost a great role model and a true friend, and the thoughts of the whole community are with his family at this difficult time. We will miss him.”