Calvin Murphy
Calvin Murphy 1.jpg
Murphy in 2008
Personal information
Born (1948-05-09) May 9, 1948 (age 74)
Norwalk, Connecticut
NationalityAmerican
Listed height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Listed weight165 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High schoolNorwalk (Norwalk, Connecticut)
CollegeNiagara (1967–1970)
NBA draft1970 / Round: 2 / Pick: 18th overall
Selected by the San Diego Rockets
Playing career1970–1983
PositionPoint guard
Number23
Coaching career1990–1993
Career history
As player:
19701983San Diego / Houston Rockets
As coach:
19901993Houston Rockets (assistant)
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points17,949 (17.9 ppg)
Assists4,402 (4.4 apg)
Steals1,165 (1.5 spg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Calvin Jerome Murphy (born May 9, 1948) is an American former professional basketball player who after a prolific collegiate career at Niagara, where he averaged 33.1 points per game over his three years, played in the National Basketball Association as a guard for the San Diego/Houston Rockets from 1970 to 1983. He is a currently a member of the Houston Rockets' AT&T SportsNet TV broadcast team. Standing at a height of 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m), Murphy has the distinction of being the shortest NBA player inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and to play in an NBA All-Star Game (the latter since tied by Isaiah Thomas in 2016).

Early years

Before basketball, Calvin Murphy was a world-class baton twirler. He says he was "bullied into it" as his mother and all six of her sisters were twirlers.[1] As an 8th grader, in 1963, he won a national championship in baton twirling.[2] His reputation as a twirler earned him invitations to perform at major sporting events and the 1964 New York World's Fair.[3] In 1977, at the height of his basketball career in Houston, Murphy won the Texas State Men's Twirling Championship.[1]

He played basketball for Norwalk High School, where he was All-State three times and All-America twice. He is a member of the Connecticut Coaches Association Hall of Fame and a Connecticut Sportswriters Gold Key Award winner.[2] Norwalk High School's address is now 23 Calvin Murphy Rd. in his honor.[3]

College (1967–1970)

Murphy attended Niagara University, where he was a three-time All-American. He scored 2,548 points in 77 games (33.1 points per game).[2]

One of his best games was a 68-point outing against Syracuse University at Niagara's Gallagher Center.[4] In 1970, he led Niagara to the NCAA tournament and advanced to the second round, where they lost to Villanova. During his career he was famous for being one of "The Three M's", along with Pete Maravich and Rick Mount, both of whom were NCAA Men's Division I Basketball All-Americans at the same time as Murphy.

Murphy is a member of the Alpha Nu Omega chapter of the Iota Phi Theta fraternity, being initiated alongside fellow future Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes.[5]

NBA (1970–1983)

Murphy was drafted by the San Diego Rockets (now the Houston Rockets) as the first pick in the second round (18th overall) of the 1970 NBA draft. In his first season, after averaging 15.8 points and 4 assists per game, Murphy was nominated to the NBA All-Rookie team. A diminutive guard at 5 feet 9 inches (175 cm), Murphy was known for his quickness and defensive ability.[2] During the 1975 NBA Playoffs, Murphy averaged a postseason career-high of 24.4 points and 5.6 assists per game,[6] as the Rockets advanced past the New York Knicks in the first round (Houston was in the Eastern Conference at the time), before being eliminated by the Boston Celtics in the semifinals.[7] Two seasons later, on March 18, 1978, Murphy set a career high with 57 points scored during a 106–104 loss to the New Jersey Nets.[8] The following year, he earned his only All-Star selection.

During the 1980-81 NBA season, Murphy played a key role in the Rockets making it to the NBA Finals. That postseason run, on April 17, 1981, Murphy led the Rockets to a decisive Western Conference Semifinals Game 7 win over the San Antonio Spurs with 42 points, a postseason career high.[9] After advancing past the Kansas City Kings in the conference finals, in the 1981 NBA Finals Murphy and the Rockets lost to the Boston Celtics in a six-game series. Murphy retired in 1983.

Murphy was one of the best free-throw shooters in league history, setting NBA records for most consecutive free throws made and for the highest free throw percentage in a single season (1980–1981), though both records have since been broken. He set many other records within the Rockets organization, including that of all-time leading scorer until that record was broken in 1994 by Hakeem Olajuwon. Despite being among the shortest players in the league, Murphy was considered to be an "enforcer" due to his physical playing style and willingness to confront other players for hard fouls.[10] Murphy was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.[2]

Post-NBA life

After retirement, Murphy continued to work for the Rockets organization in numerous roles, mainly as television analyst for Rockets games. He is currently the halftime and post-game analyst for local Rockets broadcasts on AT&T SportsNet.[2]

In 2004, he faced trial in Houston for sexually abusing five of his daughters. He was acquitted of these charges in December of that year.[11]

He hosted The Calvin Murphy Show on ESPN Radio's Houston affiliate from 2007 until its cancellation in January 2010.[12][13]

Statistics and accomplishments

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1970–71 San Diego 82 24.6 .458 .820 3.0 4.0 15.8
1971–72 Houston 82 31.0 .455 .890 3.1 4.8 18.2
1972–73 Houston 77 22.0 .465 .888 1.9 3.4 13.0
1973–74 Houston 81 36.1 .522 .868 2.3 7.4 1.9 .0 20.4
1974–75 Houston 78 32.2 .484 .883 2.2 4.9 1.6 .1 18.7
1975–76 Houston 82 36.5 .493 .907 2.5 7.3 1.8 .1 21.0
1976–77 Houston 82 33.7 .490 .886 2.1 4.7 1.8 .1 17.9
1977–78 Houston 76 38.2 .491 .918 2.2 3.4 1.5 .0 25.6
1978–79 Houston 82 35.9 .496 .928 2.1 4.3 1.4 .1 20.2
1979–80 Houston 76 35.2 .493 .040 .897 2.0 3.9 1.9 .1 20.0
1980–81 Houston 76 26.5 .492 .235 .958* 1.1 2.9 1.5 .1 16.7
1981–82 Houston 64 0 18.8 .427 .063 .909 1.0 2.5 .7 .0 10.2
1982–83 Houston 64 0 22.2 .447 .286 .920 1.2 2.5 .9 .1 12.8
Career 1,002 30.5 .482 .139 .892 2.1 4.4 1.5 .1 17.9
All-Star 1 0 15.0 .600 1.0 5.0 2.0 .0 6.0

Playoffs

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1975 Houston 8 38.1 .462 .895 2.4 5.6 1.8 .1 24.4
1977 Houston 12 35.0 .479 .933 1.6 6.3 1.6 .2 19.3
1979 Houston 2 36.5 .290 .889 1.5 3.0 4.0 .5 13.0
1980 Houston 7 37.9 .537 .500 1.000 1.4 3.7 1.6 .0 18.7
1981 Houston 19 28.4 .495 .286 .967 1.3 3.0 1.4 .0 18.1
1982 Houston 3 19.0 .227 .000 .875 1.0 1.3 .3 .0 5.7
Career 51 32.5 .475 .286 .932 1.5 4.2 1.5 .1 18.5

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Untitled news brief". Time. August 15, 1977. Archived from the original on October 28, 2007. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "NBA Biography". NBA.com. Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  3. ^ a b Yantz, Tom. "105 points, for those keeping score". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on October 28, 2007. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
  4. ^ Calvin Murphy Niagara All American
  5. ^ "Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. | Greek Life". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011.
  6. ^ Calvin Murphy Per Game Playoffs
  7. ^ 1974-75 Houston Rockets Roster and Stats
  8. ^ Calvin Murphy Career High 57 Points
  9. ^ Calvin Murphy Postseason High 42 Points Game 7 WCSF WIn
  10. ^ 'NOBODY, BUT NOBODY, IS GOING TO HURT MY TEAMMATES'
  11. ^ "Calvin Murphy found not guilty". Houston Chronicle. December 6, 2004. Retrieved April 4, 2021.
  12. ^ "Texas Southern fires coach". SI.com. July 19, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  13. ^ Barron, David (January 28, 2010). "97.5 axes Murphy's talk show". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
  14. ^ "Free Throw Streaks". Archived from the original on October 9, 2006. Retrieved March 21, 2008.