Earl Antoine Boykins (born June 2, 1976) is a former American professional basketball player. 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. He was the head coach for the Douglas County High School boys varsity basketball team. He is now serving as an assistant coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Boykins with the Milwaukee Bucks, in 2011
|Born||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|
|1999||New Jersey Nets|
|2000–2002||Los Angeles Clippers|
|2002–2003||Golden State Warriors|
|Career highlights and awards|
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 Eastern Michigan University's Convocation Center.
First NBA StintEdit
Boykins was never drafted by an NBA team, but he was signed to short-term contracts by five different NBA teams before signing a five-year, $13.7 million contract with the Denver Nuggets prior to the 2003–2004 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. After spending three full seasons and a portion of a fourth season with Denver, Boykins was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in January 2007. After finishing the season in Milwaukee, Boykins opted out of his contract; he later signed with the Charlotte Bobcats partway through the 2007–2008 season and finished the season there.
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 and 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 owner 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, thanks to the intervention of Virtus general manager Andrea Luchi, 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 NBAEdit
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.
The Basketball Tournament (TBT)Edit
In the summer of 2017, Boykins competed in The Basketball Tournament on ESPN for Paul Champions. Competing for the $2 million grand prize, Boykins helped lead his team to two victories in the TBT Jamboree which secured Paul Champions' spot as one of the 64 teams in the tournament. During the Jamboree, Boykins averaged 24.5 points, 4.0 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game. In their first-round match up, Boykins scored a game-high 25 points, helping the Champions to a 78–74 victory over the Talladega Knights; a team led by former NBA players Josh Boone and Gary Forbes. Boykins and the Champions would eventually fall in the second-round to the number one seeded Untouchables.
|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|
- "Player Profile". FIBA.
- "Bio". Nba.com. June 2, 1976. Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- 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 December 30, 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 December 30, 2016.
- Yantz, Tom (March 16, 1996). "Confident Guards Run Eastern Michigan's Game". Hartford Courant. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- Bacon, John U. (March 3, 2011). "Earl Boykins: The little guy that outlasted them all". Michigan Radio. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
- "Earl Boykins' No. 11 Jersey To Be Retired Sunday, Feb. 27". Emueagles.com. February 23, 2011. Archived from the original on April 14, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- Broussard, Chris (November 9, 2003). "Inside the N.B.A.; At 5-5, Boykins Has Overcome Big Obstacles". New York Times. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- "Boykins adds career-high 32 in win". Sports.espn.go.com. November 11, 2004. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- "Bucks get Boykins in trade with Nuggets". Reuters. January 11, 2007. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- Finnan, Bob (February 1, 2008). "Boykins Signs with Bobcats". News-Herald.com. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- "Cats' Boykins latest NBA player to bolt for Europe, signs $3.5 million net pay deal". Sports.espn.go.com. August 6, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- "ESPN.com Boykins' deal includes part of the team's marketing and sponsorships". Sports.espn.go.com. December 29, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- Matteo Manna. "Boykins cut from Virtus for behavior". Tripladoppia.com. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- Tjarks, Jonathan (March 12, 2012). "Boykins cut by Virtus Bologna". Realgm.com. Archived from the original on June 3, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- "Agent: Boykins to stay in Italy". Sports.espn.go.com. December 29, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2012.
- 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. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- "Rockets sign Earl Boykins to 10-day contract". Archived from the original on February 17, 2018. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- Ben Macaluso (March 3, 2016). "Earl Boykins is back, building Colorado basketball from the ground up". Mile High Sports. Retrieved July 3, 2019.