Calvin Murphy

Last updated
Calvin Murphy

Calvin Murphy 1.jpg

Murphy in 2008
Personal information
Born (1948-05-09) May 9, 1948 (age 70)
Norwalk, Connecticut
Nationality American
Listed height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Listed weight 165 lb (75 kg)
Career information
High school Norwalk (Norwalk, Connecticut)
College Niagara (1967–1970)
NBA draft 1970 / Round: 2 / Pick: 18th overall
Selected by the San Diego Rockets
Playing career 1970–1983
Position Point guard / Shooting guard
Number 23
Career history
19701983 San Diego / Houston Rockets
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points 17,949 (17.9 ppg)
Assists 4,402 (4.4 apg)
Steals 1,165 (1.5 spg)
Stats at
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

Calvin Jerome Murphy (born May 9, 1948) is an American retired professional basketball player who played as a guard for the NBA's San Diego/Houston Rockets from 1970 to 1983, and is a current 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 Basketball Hall of Fame, and to play in an NBA All-Star Game (the latter since tied by Isaiah Thomas in 2016).

Basketball team sport played on a court with baskets on either end

Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court, compete with the primary objective of shooting a basketball through the defender's hoop while preventing the opposing team from shooting through their own hoop. A field goal is worth two points, unless made from behind the three-point line, when it is worth three. After a foul, timed play stops and the player fouled or designated to shoot a technical foul is given one or more one-point free throws. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but if regulation play expires with the score tied, an additional period of play (overtime) is mandated.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a men's professional basketball league in North America; composed of 30 teams. It is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world. The NBA is an active member of USA Basketball (USAB), which is recognized by FIBA as the national governing body for basketball in the United States. The NBA is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary per player.

Houston Rockets American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas

The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. The Rockets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference Southwest Division. The team plays its home games at the Toyota Center, located in downtown Houston. The Rockets have won two NBA championships and four Western Conference titles. The team was established as the San Diego Rockets, an expansion team originally based in San Diego, in 1967. In 1971, the Rockets moved to Houston.


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]

Baton twirling

Baton twirling is a art involving the manipulation of a metal rod and the performer's body to a coordinated routine. It is similar to rhythmic gymnastics or color guard.

1964 New York Worlds Fair

The 1964/1965 New York World's Fair held over 140 pavilions, 110 restaurants, for 80 nations, 24 US states, and over 45 corporations to build exhibits or attractions at Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, NY. The immense fair covered 646 acres (261 ha) on half the park, with numerous pools or fountains, and an amusement park with rides near the lake. However, the fair did not receive official sanctioning from the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE). Hailing itself as a "universal and international" exposition, the fair's theme was "Peace Through Understanding", dedicated to "Man's Achievement on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe". American companies dominated the exposition as exhibitors. The theme was symbolized by a 12-story-high, stainless-steel model of the earth called the Unisphere, built on the foundation of the Perisphere from the 1939 NYC fair. The fair ran for two six-month seasons, April 22 – October 18, 1964, and April 21 – October 17, 1965. Admission price for adults was $2 in 1964 but $2.50 in 1965, and $1 for children (2–12) both years.

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]

Norwalk High School (Connecticut)

Norwalk High School is a secondary school located in Norwalk, Connecticut, USA. It is the oldest high school in Norwalk, created in 1902. The current building for the school was built in 1971.

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]

Niagara University

Niagara University is a private Catholic university in the Vincentian tradition in Lewiston in Niagara County, New York. It is run by the Congregation of the Mission. Niagara has 3,300 undergraduate students in 50 academic programs. Approximately half of the students are residents while the other half commute from the surrounding area. The college is known as a liberal arts school but offers programs in technical and pre-professional disciplines as well.

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.

Pete Maravich American basketball player

Peter Press Maravich, known by his nickname Pistol Pete, was an American professional basketball player. Maravich was born in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, part of the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, and raised in the Carolinas. Maravich starred in college at Louisiana State University (LSU). He was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He played for three NBA teams until injuries forced his retirement in 1980. He is the all-time leading NCAA Division I scorer with 3,667 points scored and an average of 44.2 points per game. All of his accomplishments were achieved before the adoption of the three point line and shot clock, and despite being unable to play varsity as a freshman under then-NCAA rules. One of the youngest players ever inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, Maravich was cited by the Hall as "perhaps the greatest creative offensive talent in history". In an April 2010 interview, Hall of Fame player John Havlicek said that "the best ball-handler of all time was Pete Maravich". Maravich's dedication to improving his game was like no other. Maravich would go to a movie and dribble in the aisle as he watched the movie. Maravich struggled in his relationship with his father. His father was his coach and demanding of his son. Maravich was said to have been worked hard by his father, Press Maravich. Maravich died suddenly at age 40 during a pick up game in 1988 as a consequence of a previously undetected heart defect.

Rick Mount American basketball player

Richard Carl Mount is a former American basketball player in the American Basketball Association (ABA). He was the first high school athlete to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Murphy is a member of the Iota Phi Theta fraternity. [5]

Iota Phi Theta historically Black fraternity

Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated is a nationally incorporated, historically African-American, collegiate fraternity. It was founded on September 19, 1963, at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, and now has initiated over 30,000 members. There are currently over 263 undergraduate and alumni chapters, as well as colonies located in 40 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, The Bahamas, Colombia, South Korea, and Japan.

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, 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]

Murphy was one of the best free-throw shooters ever, setting NBA records for most consecutive free throws made and for the highest free throw percentage in a single season (1980–1981). 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. The Rockets made it to the NBA Finals in 1981, losing to the Boston Celtics in six games. After retiring from the NBA in 1983, Calvin 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. [2]

Murphy is confirmed to have fathered fourteen children by nine different women. [6] 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. [6]

He hosted "The Calvin Murphy Show" on ESPN Radio's Houston affiliate from 2007 until its cancellation in January 2010. [7] [8]

Statistics and accomplishments

NBA career statistics

  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

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 7.41.9 .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


1975 Houston 838.1.462.8952.
1977 Houston 1235.0.479.9331.
1979 Houston
1980 Houston 737.9.537.5001.0001.
1981 Houston 1928.4.495.286.9671.
1982 Houston 319.
Career 51 32.5 .475 .286 .932 1.5 4.2 1.5 .1 18.5

See also

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  1. 1 2 "Untitled news brief". TIME Magazine. August 15, 1977. Retrieved October 26, 2007.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "NBA Biography" . Retrieved October 25, 2007.
  3. 1 2 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
  6. 1 2 "The Day After The Verdict: Calvin Murphy Talks". December 7, 2004. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011. Retrieved April 12, 2011.
  7. "Texas Southern fires coach". July 19, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  8. Barron, David (January 28, 2010). "97.5 axes Murphy's talk show". Houston Chronicle . Retrieved April 12, 2011.
  9. Free Throw Streaks