Calvin Murphy has been a staple of the Houston Rockets franchise. Murphy played 13 seasons in the Space City after the franchise nabbed him in the second-round of the 1970 NBA Draft (although they were the San Diego Rockets at the time).
The 5-foot-9 point guard from Niagara went from an unheralded player to one of the game's greatest players, reaching the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in 1993- the shortest player to ever pull off the feat. Murphy averaged 17.9 points, 4.4 assists, 2.1 rebounds, 48.2 percent from the field, and 89.2 percent from the charity stripe.
The Hall of Fame guard remains one of the game's best free throw shooters, as he twice led the league in free throw percentage in 1980-81 (95.8 percent) and 1982-83 (92 percent) and made 90 percent or better from the line in six seasons.
Murphy has remained with the franchise as a member of the broadcast team.
Hoopshype's Frank Urbina concocted a list of the greatest NBA players ever under 6-feet tall and Murphy made the list, coming in at ninth.
"One of the few players on this list who might actually be considered somewhat short for an average person, the 5-foot-9 Calvin Murphy was a fantastic scorer for his size, averaging nearly 18 points for his career. Murphy was a combo guard who could get buckets, averaging at least 20 points five times in his career, topping out at 25.6 points per game in 1977-78 as a member of the Houston Rockets. Murphy ranks third in Rockets history in points scored, trailing only a couple of guys named Hakeem Olajuwon and James Harden."
Former Rockets guard Kyle Lowry makes Hoopshype's list.
Kyle Lowry, who spent four seasons with the Rockets, also made Urbina's list, coming in at fourth.
"For Kyle Lowry to have had the career he’s had (just look at his place in the all-time statistical rankings) while not ever really being in elite shape tells you a lot about his basketball IQ and his competitive fire.
Now, there were times in the past when his playoff performances left something to be desired but Lowry did redeem himself by winning a championship with the Toronto Raptors in 2018-19. Since then, Lowry has made two more deep playoff runs, getting to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 2021-22 and to the Finals in 2022-23, both times with Miami. Lowry’s longevity has made him one of the best short players in league history."
Rockets fan favorite Chris Paul tops the list.
Two-time Rockets point guard Chris Paul, who nearly could've won a championship with the Rockets, were it not for a fateful injury in the 2018 Western Conference Finals, came in at first place on the list.
"By now, everyone knows Paul’s game quite well. He’s got a killer mid-range game and is a fantastic playmaker. Paul also boasts a lot of longevity in a sport that’s not kind to small guys.
Today, Paul, at six-feet-tall, remains in the NBA and is currently the second-oldest player (38) in the league, something we’re pretty sure has never happened before for a player his size. Paul came close to winning MVP in 2007-08, the year Kobe Bryant won it.
Still, just looking at his career accolades and all-time statistical rankings, there’s no doubt Paul is the Short King of the NBA."
Of the three, the only one that was able to secure a championship thus far is Lowry, who won the 2019 title with the Toronto Raptors.