Houston Rockets: 30 Greatest players in franchise history

By Ben Beecken
Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon, Kenny Smith, Robert Horry, Vernon Maxwell, Otis Thorpe (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets Hakeem Olajuwon, Kenny Smith, Robert Horry, Vernon Maxwell, Otis Thorpe (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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24 of 29
Calvin Murphy
Calvin Murphy /

169. . . Guard. Calvin Murphy. 6


  • 13 seasons with the Rockets (1970-83)

  • Averaged 17.9 points and 4.4 assists per game

  • 1x All-Star with the Rockets

Calvin Murphy was the Rockets’ second-round pick in 1970, their last year in San Diego. He moved with the team to Houston in 1971 and spent his entire 13-year career with the Rockets.

Murphy was a big-time contributor from the start of his rookie year, averaging an impressive 15.8 points in just 24.6 minutes per game. By the late 1970s, Murphy was the leading scorer on a Rockets team that won more than 40 games annually.

Of his 13 seasons as a pro, Murphy averaged north of 20 points per game in five of them and 16.7 or more in another five campaigns. He was a consistent and efficient scorer, shooting 48.2 percent from the floor for his career and topping 49 percent in seven different seasons.

Murphy’s playing time didn’t begin to decrease until 1980, his third-to-last season with the Rockets. He still managed to average 16.7 points in just 26.5 minutes per game, although his playing time diminished significantly in 1981-82 and 1982-83 when Murphy was 34 years old.

Murphy was only 5-foot-9 and is the shortest player to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Despite only being named to one All-Star game, Murphy was a fantastic scorer and effective distributor, while spending the entirety of his professional career with the Rockets franchise. And that is enough to get him to No. 6 on this list.

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