Calvin Murphy

Calvin Murphy

Calvin Murphy (born May 9 1948, in Norwalk, Connecticut) is a retired American professional basketball player who played as a guard for the NBA's Houston Rockets from 1970-1983. He is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and a former member of the Rockets' broadcast team. He is currently the host of ESPN Radio's "Calvin Murphy Show." [ [ 97.5 The Ticket's Summary of the Calvin Murphy Show] ]


Before basketball Calvin Murphy was a world class baton twirler. He says that he was "bullied into it" as his mother and all six of his sisters were twisters. [,9171,915272-2,00.html Untitled news brief in "Time Magazine"] August 15, 1977. Accessed 10/26/07] As an 8th grader, in 1963, he won a national championship in baton twirling. [ NBA Biography] Accessed 10/25/07] His reputation as a twirler earned him invitations to perform at major sporting events and the 1964 New York World's Fair. [Yantz, Tom. [ 105 points, for those keeping score] Hartford Courant. accessed 10/26/07] In 1977, at the height of his basketball career, Murphy won the Texas State Men's Twirling Championship.

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. Norwalk High School's address is now 23 Calvin Murphy Rd. in honor of the player.

College (1967-1970)

He then attended Niagara University, where he was a four year letter winner, a two time consensus first team All-America (1969-70), and consensus second team All-America (1968). He scored 2,548 points in 77 games (33.1 points per game), which is fourth best in NCAA history.

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.

NBA (1970-1983)

Calvin 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 (at 175 cm, 5 ft 9 in) guard, Murphy was known for his quickness and defensive ability.

Murphy was one of the best free-throw shooters ever, setting the NBA record for most consecutive free throws made, as well as setting a record for the highest free throw percentage in 1980-1981. He set many 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.

Personal life

Murphy was married to Vernetta Murphy, with whom he had two daughters and a son. In total, he has fourteen children allegedly by nine women while only being married to one of the women. [cite news | last = | first = | coauthors = | title = Sexual assault trial begins for Calvin Murphy | work = | pages = | language = | publisher = USA Today |date=2004-11-05 | url =| accessdate = 2007-08-30 ] In 2004, Murphy was tried for sexual abuse of five of his illegitimate children. When defending Murphy his renowned lawyer Rusty Hardin argued that Murphy had been the long time director of Houston’s Marching Thunder Drill Team (a band and baton twirling group) and that nobody outside of Murphy's extended family accused him of anything and the allegations stemmed from a desire to get money from Murphy.Andrew Tilghman, [ Murphy’s Large Family Tree Falls Under Scrutiny At Trial] Houston Chronicle, Nov. 6] It took the jury less than two hours to acquit Murphy of all charges. Shortly after the verdict was announced, the Houston Rockets ended their 35 year relationship with Murphy.

Post-NBA life

After retirement, Calvin Murphy continued to work for the Rockets organization in numerous roles, but publicly he was most well-known for being the television analyst for Rockets games.

In 2007, the Houston ESPN radio affliate hired Calvin Murphy to host "The Calvin Murphy Show." As the host, Calvin Murphy has been actively campaigning for the Texas Southern University women's basketball coaching position. [ [ Texas Southern fires coach] Posted 7/19/07 Accessed 8/16/07] On a September 2007 broadcast of his show, Calvin Murphy was critical of a basketball player who had been caught using his real name at a prostitution house. His co-host asked him what the player should have done, and Murphy responded that the athlete should have been smart enough to use an alias. The co-host asked Calvin what he would have used, and Calvin immediately responded with "Mojo Turner." Since then, many callers and his co-host call Calvin "Mojo Turner."

Calvin Murphy also works with current NBA players, primarily with their shooting. According to Murphy, in an effort to improve its image, the NBA has instituted a "mentoring" program. The mentoring program connects a young NBA player with a retired player. The retired player is to help the young star avoid the pitfalls and traps that can beset NBA players. As part of this mentoring program, Murphy was on the cover of the November 2007 edition of Sports Illustrated. On his October 25th episode of "The Calvin Murphy Show," he announced that he will be Nate Robinson's mentor. He believes that he was paired with Robinson because like Murphy both are short for basketball players and thus have "attitude." [Calvin Murphy. "The Calvin Murphy Show" on Houston's 97.5 The Ticket. October 25, 2007]

tatistics and accomplishments

*Height: 5'9"
*Inducted to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.
*Jersey #23 retired by the Houston Rockets.
*Free Throw Percentage, All-Time - Tied for 3rd, 3445 of 3864 (89.2%)
*NBA Record: Highest Free Throw Percentage in a Season - 206 of 215 (95.8%) in 1980-1
*NBA Consecutive Free Throws Made - 3rd, 78 (December 27, 1980 - February 28, 1981) [ [ Free Throw Streaks ] ]

*NBA All-Rookie Team: 1971
*NBA All-Star Team: 1979

*Games played; 1,022
*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 San Antonio Spurs, 1981)
*1000-point seasons: 11


External links

* [ Calvin Murphy's Profile] - Houston Rocket Fan Site
* [ Calvin Murphy Bio] - Murphy's NBA bio
* [ Video of Calvin Murphy demonstrating how baton twirling helps with basketball.]

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