August 10, 1949 |
|Listed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Listed weight||200 lb (91 kg)|
|High school||Pershing (Detroit, Michigan)|
|College||Michigan State (1969–1970)|
|NBA draft||1972 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11th overall|
|Selected by the Chicago Bulls|
|Position||Shooting guard / Small forward|
|Number||44, 10, 32,|
|1970–1976||Denver Rockets / Nuggets (ABA)|
|1979||New Jersey Nets|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career ABA and NBA statistics|
|Points||11,785 (16.7 ppg)|
|Rebounds||2,616 (3.7 rpg)|
|Assists||2,357 (3.3 apg)|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
- Not to be confused with Ralph Sampson, who played in the NBA from 1983 to 1992
Simpson, a 6'6" guard/forward, was a star at Detroit's Pershing High School, where he teamed with Spencer Haywood to win the Michigan state championship in 1967. He was offered a tryout for the 1968 United States Olympic team, but turned it down. After two strong years at Michigan State University, he signed a professional contract with the ABA's Denver Rockets (later the Denver Nuggets), and he would represent the franchise in five ABA All-Star games.
Simpson had his finest season in 1971–1972, in which he averaged 27.4 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists. After the ABA-NBA merger in 1976, Simpson joined the Detroit Pistons, but his level of production dropped significantly, from 18 points per game in 1975–1976 to 11 points per game in 1976–1977, and after one-and-a-half seasons, he returned to the Denver Nuggets, now one of the ABA teams who had joined the NBA. However, he averaged only 5.5 points during his second tenure with the Nuggets, and after two more seasons as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets, he retired in 1980.
Simpson scored 11,785 combined ABA/NBA points in his ten-year career. His 9,953 points were the most for the Nuggets during the team's time in the ABA.
- Ellis, Vince (August 16, 2012). "Ex-Spartan, Piston Ralph Simpson fond of his ABA, Pershing days". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- "Ralph Simpson". remembertheaba.com. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- "Ralph Simpson". basketball-reference.com. Retrieved August 19, 2012.