Troy Murphy felt like he was a senior at Delbarton High School in the past few days, fielding calls from Miami team president Pat Riley and Celtics coach Doc Rivers. Murphy finally decided on signing with the Celtics and finally ending an infamous streak of missing out the postseason.
Murphy has played in 639 regular season games without a playoff appearance, the longest streak in the NBA. That will end in April as Murphy heads to Boston to become potentially a key contributor off the bench.
"It was a very tough decision," said Murphy, who played in 18 games with New Jersey this season. "It came down to the Celtics and Heat are both great organizations that really do play the right way. Going to the Celtics, I feel like I could help them, being another piece that could help them. They have had a lot of success over the past couple of years in the playoffs and I look forward to being out there."
Murphy was traded to New Jersey from Indiana in the offseason in a four-team deal with New Orleans and Houston. The Nets dealt him back to his original team, Golden State, for Dan Gadzuric and Brandan Wright as a salary dump. The Warriors quickly bought out what was left of the $11 million Murphy earned this season, making him available to join a contender.
"Iím beyond thrilled," he said. "This team has had success in the playoffs, had deep playoff runs and when I was looking at teams to go to I was looking at one that could make a deep playoff run and Iím just excited to be part of that and very excited to be coming up.
For the first time in his career, Murphy will play important minutes for a playoff contender, but he had to decide between the Heat, Celtics and Magic.
"It was like (being recruited in college) and I was hoping to get a decision done pretty quickly unfortunately it took me a day or two longer," he said. "I went back and forth and it was a tough decision. But Iím excited to be going to Boston and Iím very happy and canít wait to get up there and start working out and being with the team."
With five seasons of averaging a double-double, Murphy was one of the league's more underrated players but nagging injuries have hampered him the past few seasons. But that didn't stop him from averaging 16.1 points and 11.3 rebounds in 72 games last season.
"Iím feeling great. Iíve been working out everyday and trying to stay in shape and Iím just pumped up," he said. "It excites me a lot, the way (the Celtics) play, theyíre unselfishness, the way they move the ball. The way they hold each other accountable. Itís a pleasure to watch as a fan of basketball, to watch them play and to be a part of it is something really special."