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Calvin Murphy

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 ft, 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).

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. As an 8th grader, in 1963, he won a national championship in baton twirling. His reputation as a twirler earned him invitations to perform at major sporting events and the 1964 New York World's Fair. In 1977, at the height of his basketball career in Houston, Murphy won the Texas State Men's Twirling Championship. 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.

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 ft, Murphy was known for his quickness and defensive ability.

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.

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..

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

Statistics and accomplishments

  • Inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993
  • Jersey #23 retired by the Houston Rockets
  • Second highest Free Throw Percentage in a Season – 206 of 215 (95.8%) in 1980–81
  • NBA Consecutive Free Throws Made – 3rd, 78 (December 27, 1980 – February 28, 1981)
  • NBA All-Rookie Team: 1971
  • NBA All-Star Team: 1979
  • Games played; 1,002
  • Career points: 17,949 (17.9 points per game)
  • Career steals: 1,165
  • Career assists: 4,402 (4.4 apg)
  • Career high points: 57 (against New Jersey Nets- March 18, 1978)
  • Career playoff high: 42 (against San Antonio Spurs- April 17, 1981)
  • 1000-point seasons: 11
  • 14 children with 9 women

    NBA career statistics

    Regular season



    |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|San Diego | 82 || – || 24.6 || .458 || – || .820 || 3.0 || 4.0 || – || – || 15.8 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 82 || – || 31.0 || .455 || – || .890 || 3.1 || 4.8 || – || – || 18.2 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 77 || – || 22.0 || .465 || – || .888 || 8.9 || 3.4 || – || – || 13.0 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 81 || – || 36.1 || .522 || – || .868 || 2.3 || 7.4 || 1.9 || .0 || 20.4 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 78 || – || 32.2 || .484 || – || .883 || 2.2 || 4.9 || 1.6 || .1 || 18.7 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 82 || – || 36.5 || .493 || – || .907 || 2.5 || 7.3 || 1.8 || .1 || 21.0 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 82 || – || 33.7 || .490 || – || .886 || 2.1 || 4.7 || 1.8 || .1 || 17.9 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 76 || – || 38.2 || .491 || – || .918 || 2.2 || 3.4 || 1.5 || .0 || 25.6 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 82 || – || 35.9 || .496 || – || .928 || 2.1 || 4.3 || 1.4 || .1 || 20.2 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 76 || – || 35.2 || .493 || .040 || .897 || 2.0 || 3.9 || 1.9 || .1 || 20.0 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 76 || – || 26.5 || .492 || .235 ||style="background:#cfecec;"|.958*|| 1.1 || 2.9 || 1.5 || .1 || 16.7 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 64 || 0 || 18.8 || .427 || .063 || .909 || 1.0 || 2.5 || .7 || .0 || 10.2 |- | style="text-align:left;"| | style="text-align:left;"|Houston | 64 || 0 || 22.2 || .447 || .286 || .920 || 1.2 || 2.5 || .9 || .1 || 12.8 |- class="sortbottom" | style="text-align:center;" colspan="2"| Career | 1,002 || – || 30.5 || .482 || .139 || .892 || 2.1 || 4.4 || 1.5 || .1 || 17.9 |- class="sortbottom" | style="text-align:center;" colspan="2"| All-Star | 1 || 0 || 15.0 || .600 || – || – || 1.0 || 5.0 || 2.0 || .0 || 6.0

    Playoffs



    |- |style="text-align:left;"|1975 |style="text-align:left;”|Houston |8||–||38.1||.462||–||.895||2.4||5.6||1.8||.1||24.4 |- |style="text-align:left;"|1977 |style="text-align:left;”|Houston |12||–||35.0||.479||–||.933||1.6||6.3||1.6||.2||19.3 |- |style="text-align:left;"|1979 |style="text-align:left;”|Houston |2||–||36.5||.290||–||.889||1.5||3.0||4.0||.5||13.0 |- |style="text-align:left;"|1980 |style="text-align:left;”|Houston |7||–||37.9||.537||.500||1.000||1.4||3.7||1.6||.0||18.7 |- |style="text-align:left;"|1981 |style="text-align:left;”|Houston |19||–||28.4||.495||.286||.967||1.3||3.0||1.4||.0||18.1 |- |style="text-align:left;"|1982 |style="text-align:left;”|Houston |3||–||19.0||.227||.000||.875||1.0||1.3||.3||.0||5.7 |- class="sortbottom" | style="text-align:center;" colspan="2"| Career | 51 || – || 32.5 || .475 || .286 || .932 || 1.5 || 4.2 || 1.5 || .1 || 18.5