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Ralph Simpson

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Title: Ralph Simpson  
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Subject: 1970 NCAA Men's Basketball All-Americans, 1979 NBA draft, Tom Patterson (basketball), Bob Davis (basketball), Dennis Wuycik
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Ralph Simpson

Ralph Simpson
No. 44, 10, 32,
Shooting guard / Small forward
Personal information
Born (1949-08-10) August 10, 1949
Detroit, Michigan
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Listed weight 200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school Pershing (Detroit, Michigan)
College Michigan State (1969–1970)
NBA draft 1972 / Round: 1 / Pick: 11th overall
Selected by the Chicago Bulls
Pro career 1970–1979
Career history
19701976 Denver Rockets / Nuggets (ABA)
19761978 Detroit Pistons
1978 Denver Nuggets
1978–1979 Philadelphia 76ers
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
Not to be confused with Ralph Sampson, who played in the NBA from 1983 to 1992

Ralph Derek Simpson (born August 10, 1949) is a retired American basketball player. He played professionally in the ABA and NBA from 1970 to 1980.

Basketball career

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.[1] He was offered a tryout for the 1968 United States Olympic team, but turned it down.[2] 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.[1][2]

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,[3] 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.[2]


Simpson currently lives in Denver, Colorado.[1] His daughter is Grammy Award-winning soul singer India.Arie.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Ellis, Vince (August 16, 2012). "Ex-Spartan, Piston Ralph Simpson fond of his ABA, Pershing days".  
  2. ^ a b c "Ralph Simpson". Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Ralph Simpson". Retrieved August 19, 2012. 

External links

  • Career stats at
  • Ralph Simpson at Remember the ABA
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