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[chron] Tough to see Murph's run end this way

Discussion in 'Houston Rockets: Game Action & Roster Moves' started by tinman, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    Don't know if someone posted this earlier, but its a great read for us ROCKETS FANS.

    http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory.mpl/sports/herskowitz/3257657

    July 7, 2005, 10:54PM

    Tough to see Murph's run end this way
    By MICKEY HERSKOWITZ
    Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle


    We have known him for going on 35 years. We knew his hopes, his hurts, his frustrations, his good works, his hard times.

    We knew Calvin Murphy as the Pocket Rocket, a Hall of Famer, whose jersey hangs from the rafters of the Toyota Center. We knew him as a scrapper who punched out fellows a foot taller, and as a television character whose trademarks were a wild wardrobe and a craving for cookies.

    We knew the Calvin who worked with kids, organized basketball camps and taught baton twirling. It would be hard to imagine a combination more unlikely.

    We have seen him up and we have seen him down, and up is better. After an ugly and bitter trial, he was acquitted of molesting five of his daughters, but he paid a high price emotionally for having to defend himself against those charges.

    Era comes to close
    Now the price has gotten heavier. The Rockets cut their ties Thursday to the last of the players who came with the franchise from San Diego in 1971. Murphy's contract as the color analyst on their telecasts will not be renewed. His replacements are a homegrown hero, Clyde Drexler, and the insightful Matt Bullard.

    The Rockets may have cushioned their decision with these choices, but a point begs to be made. As corny as these words may ring, this is America, where the presump-tion of innocence is a bedrock of our system of justice. A jury found Calvin not guilty, and agree or not, it appears he is being punished for a lifestyle that was not on trial.

    "I was hoping they would bring him back," said his longtime partner, Bill Worrell. "I wanted to work with him again."

    When reached on his cell phone, Murphy seemed upbeat.

    "I'm disappointed," he said, "but I'm fine. The Marching Thunder (his drill team) is doing great. We have 105 students and the support of a lot of parents. It's a little sad, being the last person who spent his whole career with this organization."

    His was the second jersey retired by the team, right behind Rudy Tomjanovich, his former roommate. They started out as rookies when the team still was in San Diego.

    Backlash over firing
    Not everyone loved his act on TV, and when Les Alexander bought the team virtually his first move was to fire Calvin. The public outcry on Murphy's behalf surprised the new owner, and he quickly rehired him.

    That isn't apt to happen this time around, but time passes. Of course, you ask, what else can time do? You wouldn't rule out Murphy not returning to the team in some future role.

    He was one of the best little men to play the big guy's game, motivated always by the need to prove that his size was no handicap. When he retired after 13 seasons, he owned the franchise records for games, points, free throws, assists, steals and personal fouls. At 5-9, he was built like a gymnast.

    No one, big or small, ever played harder or had to prove himself more often. His stature, obviously, was part of his appeal to kids and ordinary mortals. Year after year, coaches would try to turn him into a role player, coming off the bench to provide instant firepower. But he kept shooting his way into the starting lineup. He once scored 57 points in a game against New Jersey.

    He never took lightly the good things that happened to him. He got his first pair of real basketball shoes when his ninth-grade coach noticed that the ones he was wearing flapped when he walked. The coach bought him a new pair, made by Converse.

    "It almost ruined my game," recalled Murphy. "I mean, I became real dainty because I didn't want to bruise my Cons."

    He set scoring records at Niagara and twirled the baton at Buffalo Bills games.

    I remember the night a fan, an entertainer in town for a one-man show, wanted to meet Calvin. The fan's name is Bill Cosby, whose reputation also has taken a few hits. "I have flaws," Cosby has been quoted as saying, "but that doesn't disqualify me from talking about people leading a moral life."

    After his concert, a group of us wound up at a restaurant where Cosby was persuaded to take the stage. He made up a song about Calvin that was clever and hilarious, except for the part about finding a jalapeƱo pepper in your nose.

    Murphy became a favorite around the league, rising above his inches, suspended in air, banging home a jumper, or whirling across the floor in a gear few others had. His 13 seasons as a player were one less than his tenure as an announcer.

    The retirement of a popular athlete can be a trauma, for us as well as for them. The athlete may experience difficulty as he re-enters earth's atmosphere. The fan tends to think sad thoughts and resent the passage of time.

    The dismissal of a broadcaster also can arouse the populace. Careers end in different ways, with a whimper or a bang or an injury. This one ended with a news release, which simply means that Calvin Murphy will have to prove himself one more time.
     
  2. roxgirl

    roxgirl Member

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    I miss Calvin. I don't agree with his lifestyle, but that has no bearing, to me, how he does commentary on the Rockets games with Bill. Not taking away from Van or anyone that will do the job (clyde and matt), but Calvin was a great personality and often made me laugh while he made fun of how cheap he was or how "jive" he was compared to Bill. I loved the way he would pronounce Bill's name, "Bale, Bale, Bale my brutha..."

    :(
     
  3. sjackson0

    sjackson0 Contributing Member

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    I couldn't agree more.....that's the only "but huge" downer for me this season. They had chemistry and actually had fun doing what their jobs. They made us laugh out loud while the rockets were making bone head plays.

    Kinda sucks like Lewinsky
     
  4. KingCheetah

    KingCheetah Contributing Member

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    I didn't really follow the case -- was there some bad stuff that came out that didn't have anything to do with the criminal trial?
     
  5. NBAHOU713

    NBAHOU713 Contributing Member

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    I like him as a commentator, but when I met him twice, he was an a$$hole both times.
     
  6. swooh

    swooh Member

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    I dont know why it is that people immediately assume you are incapable of doing your JOB well if something that you have done in your PERSONAL life is seen morally unacceptable. See also: Bill Clinton
     
  7. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    he gave me an autograph when i was a kid. Calvin's cool with me!
     
  8. Hakeem06

    Hakeem06 Member

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    calvin is human like the rest of us and has made mistakes in his life but from what i've heard and read those mistakes were years ago and he's leading a much better life with purpose now. he was a great player, great personality, great announcer (IMO), and a great rocket. i'm disgusted by the way les has handled this. this man has shown so much loyalty to the franchise for decades and this is how we repay him??? les should be ashamed of himself.
     
  9. BigM

    BigM Contributing Member

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    he basically pulled a shawn kemp and fathered 11 or 12 children in various places. or maybe shawn kemp has just been pulling a calvin murphy? anyways it was shown that he's probably not father of the year to most of his children but he never molested them.

    i love calvin and i wish he could come back but this was clearly les' opportunity to get rid of him.
     
  10. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    les=bud adams
     
  11. TheFreak

    TheFreak Contributing Member

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    Running off Rocket legends has become a Le$ specialty.
     
  12. GoatBoy

    GoatBoy Member

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    See: Boki Nachbar. :D
     
  13. macfan

    macfan Contributing Member

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    Can't stop laughing
     
  14. Jeff

    Jeff Clutch Crew

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    [​IMG]

    :D

    By the way, Les wasn't involved in this decision. This was made by other people entirely.

    Calvin was my hero growing up. When I did meet him, he was one of the few guys I was honestly nervous meeting. He was super nice and really funny. I wish him nothing but the best. I will miss him on the broadcasts for sure. He and Bill had great chemistry.
     
  15. IROC it

    IROC it Contributing Member

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    No.

    Charlie Thomas=Bud Adams
     
  16. TigerBait

    TigerBait Contributing Member

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    I dont think the producers at FSN liked popcorn very much.
     
  17. TheFreak

    TheFreak Contributing Member

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  18. Williamson

    Williamson JOSH CHRISTOPHER ONLY FAN
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    Great article. Bring back Calvin!
     

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