100 days of hoops, hardwood

100 Days of Hoops 53: The Fight in the Dog

We have all been told no. Over and over, people are told what they can and cannot do. Then are faced with the choice to accept or defy the limitations placed upon them by these expectations of others. At 5-foot-3, Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues was too short to play in the NBA. However, that could not stop Bogues from playing 14 seasons in a league with an average height of 6-foot-7. It is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. Muggsy Bogues was a dog that was all fight all the time.

Bogues was raised by his mother in Maryland while his father served a prison sentence. Despite his stature, Bogues  received a basketball scholarship from Wake Forest where he would become the ACC’s all-time leader in both assists and steals by the conclusion of his senior season. Bogues was drafted by the Washington Bullets with the 12th pick of the first round in the 1987 NBA Draft.

muggsy_stockton
Mugggsy Bogues steals the ball of John Stockton’s dribble

Being so low to the ground paired with his signature relentless on-ball defense, Bogues was a often a nightmare match-up for ball-handlers due to his ability to steal the ball off the dribble. On the other end, the lightning quick Bogues could trigger the fast break and put the ball on a dime to his teammates, often resulting in high-flying fun alley-oops to Alonzo Mourning or Larry Johnson during their time together with the Charlotte Hornets or even T-Mac and Vincanity while he was wit the Raptors.

The low-point in his career came in 1994, when aliens from outer-space stole Bogues’ and teammate, Larry Johnson’s talent in an attempt to enslave a legion of cartoon characters for their intergalactic amusement park. Luckily, Michael Jordan, was able to lead the Tune Squad to victory and returning Muggsy and Johnson’s skills.

Bogues retired from the NBA in 2001 at the age of 36, following his second season with the Toronto Raptors. In retrospect, Bogues is a living testament to the sheer power of will and a hero to short folks everywhere.

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