Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues has done much more than wow people with his basketball ability as a 5-foot-3 guard among the giants of the NBA. Bogues played 14 years in the NBA, but his biggest contribution wasn’t his 6,726 career assists nor his 1,369 steals.
Bogues was a fan favorite, but he was far more than the quick, little guy on the court. After playing for four teams during his lengthy professional career, Bogues still owns an NBA record. It’s one he’s hoping that gets broken soon.
Muggsy Bogues has always been a hit on and off the court
Even when Bogues wasn’t on the basketball court, he was a favorite of many — especially the children.
“Kids will knock on the front door all the time and ask me, ‘Can Muggsy come out and play?’ ” said Kim, Muggsy’s wife, per a 1993 Sports Illustrated article. “When kids see the other players, it’s always ‘Mr. Curry’ and ‘Mr. Mourning,’ but I have never heard a child call him anything other than Muggsy. They feel like he’s one of them.”
Bogues had his own theory about why the kids flocked to him.
“They think I’m a little kid out there,” Bogues told SI in ’93. “I guess I’m less intimidating than a seven-footer.”
Many fans were intrigued by Bogues, the shortest player to ever play in the NBA. Despite his size, Bogues proved he belonged on the court with the big boys.
Bogues was drafted by the Washington Bullets in the first round of the 1987 NBA Draft. After one year, the Bullets left him unprotected in the expansion draft, where the Charlotte Hornets scooped him up. In his second season with the Hornets, Bogues averaged a career-high 10.7 assists over 81 games.
During the 1993-94 season, Bogues averaged a double-double for the season, recording 10.8 points and 10.1 assists in 77 games. Bogues put up 8.8 points and 8.8 assists during his 10 years with the Hornets.
Bogues says he hopes his NBA record gets broken soon
At 5-foot-3, Bogues knew his role on the court. He knew he wasn’t going to be a scoring machine, but he knew the ball was going to be in his hands. As the point guard, he knew he’d distribute the ball more than shoot it. More importantly, he knew he had to take care of the ball.
“I take pride in taking care of the basketball, making sure that we had more opportunities to score,” Bogues told The Guardian back in June. “As a point guard, it’s your responsibility to take care of the basketball.”
While that was his main focus on the court, he had other goals off it. He wanted to prove to kids that they could go out and achieve their dreams no matter what the obstacles are.
“That’s the coolest thing,” he said, “changing kids’ perspectives.”
Even 22 years after playing his last NBA game, Bogues still has the record of being the shortest player to ever suit up in the NBA. It’s a record he hopes can be broken soon.
“My goodness, we’ve got to change that,” Bogues said. “We’ve got to get that 5-foot, 2-inch (player) to come along.
“That’s what records are made for … I can’t wait, I’ll be in jubilation when that happens. I hope it’s during my lifetime.”