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Calvin Murphy
Position(s) Point guard
Jersey #(s) 23
Listed height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Listed weight 159 lb (72 kg)
Born May 9, 1948 (1948-05-09) (age 61)
Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.
Career information
Year(s) 1970–1983
NBA Draft 1970 / Round: 1 / Pick: 18
College Niagara University
Professional team(s)
Career stats (NBA)
Points     17949
Assists     4402
Free throw percentage     89.2%
Stats @
Career highlights and awards
  • No notable achievements

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 was also the host of ESPN Radio's The Calvin Murphy Show.



Before basketball Calvin Murphy was a world class baton twirler. He says he was "bullied into it" as his mother and all six of his sisters were twisters.[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, 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 honor of the player.

College (1967-1970)

He then 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]

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.

Calvin is a member of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity.[citation needed]

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.[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 season in 1980-1981. Both records have since been broken. 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.[2]

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.[2]

Murphy is confirmed to have fathered 14 children by 9 different women.[4] In 2005, he faced trial in Houston for sexually abusing 5 of his daughters. He was acquitted of these charges in December of that year.[4]

In 2007, the Houston ESPN radio affiliate hired Calvin Murphy to host "The Calvin Murphy Show".[5] The show was canceled January 28, 2010.[6]

Statistics and accomplishments

  • Height: 5'9"
  • 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 1980-1
  • NBA Consecutive Free Throws Made - 3rd, 78 (December 27, 1980 - February 28, 1981) [7]
  • 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


  1. ^ a b Untitled news brief in Time Magazine August 15, 1977. Accessed 10/26/07
  2. ^ a b c d e f NBA Biography Accessed 10/25/07
  3. ^ Yantz, Tom. 105 points, for those keeping score Hartford Courant. accessed 10/26/07
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Texas Southern fires coach Posted 7/19/07 Accessed 8/16/07
  6. ^ 97.5 axes Murphy's talk show
  7. ^ Free Throw Streaks

External links



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