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Greatest of All Time Tourney: Eastern Michigan

Earl Boykins is still floating around the NBA - literally, as you can see.
Earl Boykins is still floating around the NBA - literally, as you can see.

We continue on with our GOATT introductions, now with a newly expedited pace - we'd been trying to wait a bit to allow stat acquisition from the slower athletic departments, with scattershot results. Now we move on to a man that has his very own Urban Dictionary entry, and you can search that headline up above for the previous installments.

Earl is still roaming around the league in a bench role, as the photo search shows - he signed a contract with the Houston Rockets in early March of this season and made a nice $220,000 to appear in eight games for the Rockets. His story goes back a bit further than that though.

Earl Boykins (1994-98) - Earl "Man" Boykins was the second big thing to come out of Eastern Michigan after that George Gervin guy, and he was pretty impressive while he was there.

Boykins was a four year starter for the Eagles, and was crazy fast on the court for all four of them. His points per game went 12.5 - 15.5 - 19.1 - 26.8, and as he grew so did his team. They reached the NIT in his freshman year. They won the MAC Championship and a first round NCAA Tournament game against Duke in his sophomore year. In his senior year, the Eagles won the MACC again, and Earl was named MVP. Overall, the Eagles went 87-37 in Boykins' four years, and his scoring average was second in all of Division I.

After that impressive college career, he went on to become the second-shortest player in NBA history behind Muggsy Bogues and one of the better-known sixth men in the league. His production peaked in 2003-06 with the Denver Nuggets when he averaged 11 points and four assists per game while playing in every game for the Nuggets including their three postseason series in that time. He then went over to Europe instead of hanging around with the Milwaukee Bucks team he was dealt to.

He had a very brief falling out with his Victus Bologna squad in Italy during the 2007-08 season because his son back home in Cleveland was sick and he requested to return home. His team denied his request and insisted he bring his son to Italy for treatment. Earl didn't like that, so he went home ayway. Rumors swirled that he might get cut, but they were unfounded - at least at the time. Boykins was eventually released and returned to the NBA for the '09-'10 season.

Earl is still hanging around the NBA, as I mentioned with his short stint in the NBA, and may still get some play somewhere as a Derek-Fisher-esque leader/bench body. This past February ('11) his #11 was retired at EMU, so I will leave you with the highlight package that the Eagles put together for him.