Boykins with the Milwaukee Bucks, in 2011
June 2, 1976 |
|Listed height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|Listed weight||135 lb (61 kg)|
|High school||Cleveland Central Catholic
|College||Eastern Michigan (1994–1998)|
|NBA draft||1998 / Undrafted|
|Number||7, 5, 11, 12, 6|
|1998–1999||Rockford Lightning (CBA)|
|1999||New Jersey Nets|
|2000–2002||Los Angeles Clippers|
|2002–2003||Golden State Warriors|
|2008–2009||Virtus Bologna (Italy)|
|Career highlights and awards|
Earl Boykins (born June 2, 1976) is an American former basketball player who played for twelve teams in fourteen professional seasons. Standing at 5 feet, 5 inches in height, he is the second shortest player in NBA history behind Muggsy Bogues, who was 5 feet, 3 inches tall. Despite his size, he is reportedly able to bench press 315 pounds. He is currently the head coach for the Douglas County High School varsity basketball team.
Boykins was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1976. As a child, his 5'8" father, Willie Williams, would sneak Boykins into a gym in his gym bag. Boykins grew up playing in recreational leagues with his father and other grown men. Boykins played high school basketball at Cleveland Central Catholic High School where he averaged 24.6 points per game and led the school to a 23-2 record as a senior. In 2015, The Plain Dealer ranked him the best Cleveland area high school basketball player of the 1990s. Eastern Michigan and Iowa were the only two Division I basketball programs to offer Boykins an athletic scholarship, though Iowa later withdrew its offer.
Boykins played college basketball at Eastern Michigan University from 1994 to 1998. Eastern Michigan won the MAC Tournament in 1996 and 1998. He earned All-Mid-American Conference first-team honors in his junior and senior year. Also, during his senior season, Boykins was second in the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in scoring, with an average of 26.8 points per game. He holds the career record for total assists (624) at Eastern Michigan University. In his last game he scored 18 points in a losing effort to Michigan State. On February 27, 2011, Boykins' No. 11 jersey was retired and raised to the rafters in a ceremony at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center.
Boykins was never drafted by an NBA team, but he was signed to short-term contracts by various NBA teams. The organization he spent the most time with was the Denver Nuggets, as he played for them from the 2003–04 season to about midway through the 2006–07 season. On November 11, 2004, Boykins scored 32 points in a 117–109 Nuggets' home win over the Detroit Pistons, making him the shortest player in NBA history to score 30 or more points during a game.
Following the 2007–08 NBA season, Boykins was an unrestricted free agent. Instead of signing with an NBA team, he decided to play basketball in Europe, as he signed a one-year, $3.5 million net income contract with Virtus Bologna of the Italian A League. The one-year deal made Boykins the highest-paid basketball player in the Italian League and included income from Bologna's sponsorship and marketing arms, which is not an option for NBA players because of salary-cap restrictions.
On December 26, 2008, it was announced by Virtus general manager Claudio Sabatini that Boykins was cut from the club due to behavioral issues after Boykins flew home to the United States in order to see his sick son. However, a few days later it was announced that Boykins was staying with the club. On April 26, 2009, his team won the EuroChallenge Cup by defeating Cholet Basket. In June 2009 he was released by Virtus.
Return to NBA
Boykins signed with the Washington Wizards in November 2009, making his return to the National Basketball Association. Boykins was a much needed addition to the Wizards, after guards Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were suspended for the remainder of the current season after a misdemeanor gun possession charge stemming from a locker room incident. In the December 2, 2009, game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Boykins sank two free throws to clinch the Wizards' victory.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field goal percentage||3P%||3-point field goal percentage||FT%||Free throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game||Bold||Career high|
- "Bio". Nba.com. 1976-06-02. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- Wolff, Alexander (November 17, 1997). "The Best Little Player in America if You Believe the Official Listings, Eastern Michigan's Senior Point Guard, Earl Boykins, Keeps Getting Smaller as His Scoring Grows". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- Wright, Branson (February 13, 2015). "Earl Boykins takes top spot on Plain Dealer All-Decade basketball team for 1990s (photos, video, poll)". Plain Dealer. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- Yantz, Tom (March 16, 1996). "Confident Guards Run Eastern Michigan's Game". Hartford Courant. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- Bacon, John U. (March 3, 2011). "Earl Boykins: The little guy that outlasted them all". Michigan Radio. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "Earl Boykins' No. 11 Jersey To Be Retired Sunday, Feb. 27". Emueagles.com. 2011-02-23. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "Boykins adds career-high 32 in win". Sports.espn.go.com. 2004-11-11. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "Cats' Boykins latest NBA player to bolt for Europe, signs $3.5 million net pay deal". Sports.espn.go.com. 2008-08-06. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "ESPN.com Boykins' deal includes part of the team's marketing and sponsorships". Sports.espn.go.com. 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- Matteo Manna. "Boykins cut from Virtus for behavior". Tripladoppia.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- Tjarks, Jonathan (2012-03-12). "Boykins cut by Virtus Bologna". Realgm.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "Agent: Boykins to stay in Italy". Sports.espn.go.com. 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- Talkbasket.net Boykins to stay with Virtus. Archived January 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Bucks sign point guard Boykins to one-year deal". NBA.com. Turner Sports Interactive, Inc. August 19, 2010. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- Rockets sign Earl Boykins to 10-day contract