For a long time, Calvin Murphy was accused of sexual harassment by five daughters and several ex-girlfriends.
Calvin Murphy is a unique player for his time. He will be remembered by the basketball world for being the first “little guy” in NBA history to achieve league star status. Despite his height of 175 centimeters, the playmaker began to be respected among the elite basketball players from the school bench. In three years in high school, Murphy was chosen three times for the symbolic team of the state of Connecticut and twice for the All-American team – the team that annually includes the best young basketball players in the United States. A successful career continued after school. With Niagara University, Murphy scored 2,548 points in 77 games (33.1 points per game), the fourth-best total in NCAA college history.
After reaching the NBA, Cal, as his fans call him, began to prove his wealth as a point guard from the very first season. In his second year in the league, when the Rockets, who drafted Murphy, moved from San Diego to Houston, the basketball player became the star of his team. In total, Calvin spent 13 seasons with the Rockets, in six of which he led his team to the playoffs, and in 1981 he even reached the NBA Finals, in which the Texans lost to the Boston Celtics.
For more than 35 years, Calvin Murphy was the youngest player ever to be selected for the NBA All-Star Game. In 2016, the “eternal” record was broken by Isaiah Thomas, who plays for the Boston Celtics. Interestingly, Thomas often mentioned Murphy in many of his interviews, calling him the man who paved the way for players like him to enter the league.
Calvin is still considered the best point guard in the history of the Houston Rockets franchise, having played more than 1,000 games for the club, and his number 23 is retired and hangs under the Texas team’s home arena. In 1993, Murphy was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Record holder among athletes
Success on the basketball court is not the only thing that sports fans will remember Murphy for. Calvin is known as the most numerous professional athlete in the world – he has 14 children from 9 different women, which is an absolute record in American (and probably the world) sports. For example, Muhammad Ali had 9 children from 5 women, and four-time world heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield had 11 children from 8 different women. The closest thing to Murphy is American football player and former New York Jets superstar Antonio Cromartie, who has 12 children by 9 women.
Despite such a notable fact in the biography, Murphy was married only once – to his longtime girlfriend Vernet Murphy, who gave birth to two daughters and a son. With these children, the legend of “Houston” maintains a warm family relationship to this day. With the other girlfriends and their descendants, everything is much more complicated.
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In 2004, the point guard was prosecuted for sexual assault allegations brought against him by five illegitimate daughters. The women alleged that Murphy forced them into sexual acts in the early 1990s when they were between the ages of 6 and 16. Thus began one of the most famous legal proceedings against an athlete of the beginning of zero.
From the first minute of the hearing, the athlete’s lawyers argued that the women made false accusations because of a dispute about money, as well as dissatisfaction with the way Murphy addressed and communicated with children born out of wedlock. The court often focused on the player’s personal life, and pointed out the fact that all five daughters who sued the father were illegitimate, while his two “legitimate” daughters stood up for one parent. According to witnesses, for many years Murphy practiced favoritism towards his children born to Vernetta, while he did not allow the other sons to even call themselves dad.
It took jurors less than two hours to clear the defendant of all charges, ending a trial that had lasted nearly a year. The jury’s deliberations indicated that they found the daughters’ testimony unreliable and that their accusations were directed only for profit.
Despite the positive outcome of the case, Murphy still looks like a victim in this situation. After the ex-player was sued, the Rockets ended their partnership with Murphy, which lasted more than 35 years (after the end of his playing career, Cal was an adviser to the club, as well as a full-time commentator for the Houston team’s home games). In court, his lawyer also noted that the member of the Hall of Fame has no money and serious assets left, and his reputation in the NBA and the entire sports world is ruined.
However, despite all the problems, Murphy left the courthouse with tears of happiness in his eyes: “I want to start the healing process. Don’t forget that my family is in turmoil right now. I’m going to take a step back. When the referees came back so quickly, it was like when you’re on the penalty line, it’s game over and you only have one chance to put the ball in the basket.”