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Clutch City: Earl Cureton

POSTED: Jun 4, 2015 1:35 PM ET

By Fran Blinebury


Earl Cureton played an important -- if sparing -- role in the 1994 Western Conference semfinals and finals.

"Clutch City" will air at 9 p.m. ET Monday, June 8, on NBA TV. Produced by the Sports Emmy Award-winning NBA TV Originals, "Clutch City" examines the Houston Rockets' 1993-94 and 1994-95 NBA Championship teams.

These are the then-and-now stories of some of the standout players from those teams:

Name: Earl Cureton

Position: Center/Forward

Stats in 1993-94 season: 2.0 ppg, 0.0 apg, 6.0 rpg, 0.0 spg

His part in Clutch City: Known to some as "Earl the Twirl", the former third-round pick of the 1979 Draft was a reserve for the formidable Philadelphia 76ers team of Julius Erving and Moses Malone that won the 1983 NBA title. He bounced around from the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Charlotte Hornets to overseas stints in Italy and France and was playing for the Continental Basketball Association's Sioux Falls Skyforce when the Rockets signed him as a backup with two games left in the 1993-94 season. Cureton played sparing but vital minutes in the West semifinals against the Phoenix Suns and the West finals against the Utah Jazz. In short, he earned his second championship ring 11 years after his first.

After Clutch City: He retired in 1997 after one season in Toronto. After stints in the USBL and NBA D-League, Cureton was an assistant coach in the WNBA in Charlotte, Detroit and Phoenix. He is currently the Ambassador of Community Rela-tions with the Detroit Pistons.