Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues is best known for being the shortest player that the NBA has ever seen, but there is so much more to him than that. At 5’3’’ and weighing just over 130 pounds, this is a small guy. Still, that hasn’t stopped him from being a basketball legend. Though he is hardly a master of the dunk, Bogues has his own strengths with a sky-high amount of assists and steals. Speaking of dunks, there is a rather amusing conspiracy theory on whether or not Bogues is able to pull off this move that is generally reserved for the tallest of players. Rumor has it that he managed to pull one off during a pre-game warm-up, but no one knows for sure.
But Bogues is far more than an exemplary ballplayer. He has a real understanding of what it means to be an exception to the norm.
“I understood my path and what I meant to the game and what I mean to kids,” he said. “Not only kids, but individuals around the world. Folks that didn’t think that the game was meant for smaller people. For me, I always felt that tall or small, the game was for all.”
Still, the player knows perfectly well that he could easily have become the laughing stock of his team, not to mention their opponents. His recipe to avoid this embarrassing scenario? To go out and play the game while understanding what it meant and to maintain a feeling of belonging that would then rub off on the other sportsmen, including his opponents.
Bogues played for quite a few teams over the years, including the Bullets, Warriors, and Raptors, but no team captured his heart like playing for the Charlotte Hornets. The legend spent many years playing for the team and grew an attachment to the people of the city.
“We had something really special here during that time I was here. Selling out nine straight years. To see the Hornets leave and come back under Michael Jordan’s ownership, recapture the city, give fans a product they can be pleased with, that’s the beauty in seeing it back in 1988 to seeing it now. Folks had given up on it for so long, but knowing how special this brand is and knowing that they keep continuing to feed the community and serving that community, that’s what I continue to remember.”
Muggsy remains humbled at his involvement in the NBA. He recognizes just how proud he was only to be able to play the game, not to mention that he participated in some of the best games in the history of the sport. Bogues is well aware of the statistics that he has produced but mostly shrugs it off as an opportunity rather than a success.
“I’m just proud of being able to play the game. I was able to go out there and play it with the best of them. I was able to generate whatever numbers I was able to generate. Being able to compete against the best, having success against the best and to be included with the best, that’s something I really relished whenever I got on the court.”
Muggsy was a finalist in the competition to enter the Hall of Fame but, unfortunately, was looked over for the honor. Even though Muggsy wasn’t the type of player to bring home championships or appear in All-Star games, he always had his team behind him. In fact, former teammate Earl Cureton said ‘“I can’t wait until he [Bogues] gets his call to the Hall of Fame because there’s never been anything like Muggsy Bogues. It’s solely amazing what he’s done and he’s an example.”