Calvin Murphy has staying power; Bob McAdoo, a $500,000-a-year athlete, wishes he did. The careers of these National Basketball Association players is one of contrasts, not the least being that between Murphy's ability to stay put (10 years in the Rockets organization) and McAdoo's checkered itinerary (stops in Buffalo, New York, Boston, Detroit, and now New Jersey).
Supplying the spark coming off the Houston bench, the 5 ft. 9 in. Murphy is having an excellent season. Besides being the team's second-leading scorer with a 16.4-point average, Calvin recently set a league record by making 78 straight free throws and is a virtual cinch to break the current free throw percentage record of .947 set by Rick Barry two seasons ago.
McAdoo, on the other hand, would just as soon forget the past several months. Injuries limited the ex-league MVP and three-time scoring champion to six games and 80 points with Detroit. The last-place Pistons, interested in going with younger players, blocked McAdoo's comeback. Only after the 6-9 forward threatened to file a grievance against the team did Detroit announce it would let him practice and suit up for games, but not play in them. The feud was finally settled when Detroit placed McAdoo on waivers, allowing the New Jersey Nets to claim him for what amounts to a 10-game tryout.
Ironically, McAdoo has always been considered a tremendous shooter but a defensive liability, the same labels hung on Murphy.