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Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues was the shortest player in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). At 5’3” Bogues was noticeably shorter than even the shortest players. Spud Webb was the second shortest player in the NBA during Bogues’s career, and he was 5’7”.
Muggsy Bogues grew up in inner-city Baltimore, Maryland. Although his parents called him “Apple,” he earned the nickname “Muggsy” because of the toughness and leadership he showed during pick-up basketball games on the outdoor courts in Baltimore. His high school team, the Dunbar Poets, was arguably one of the best of all-time. Including Bogues, Dunbar’s 1981-1982 team featured four future NBA players. During his senior season, Dunbar went 31-0. Bogues earned a scholarship to Wake Forest University, where he would become the school’s star point guard. Bogues left Wake Forest as the ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) career leader in steals and assists. The Washington Bullets drafted him 12th overall in the 1987 NBA draft. Interestingly, he was on the same team as Manute Bol – the tallest player in NBA history. Bol was two feet and four inches taller than Bogues.
Bogues had a successful and notable NBA career that spanned 13 years, ten of which were spent with the Charlotte Hornets. He was known for his incredible speed, passing ability, quickness, and knack for stealing the ball from opponents. Bogues holds several Hornets records including career steals and assists. In the 1993-1994 season, he averaged 10.8 points per game and 10.7 assists! Despite his lack of height, he managed to block 39 shots, including a shot attempted by 7’0” center Patrick Ewing. Bogues was said to have a 44-inch vertical leap and could nearly dunk a basketball on a ten-foot hoop. Bogues retired after the 2000-2001 season as a Toronto Raptor. During his career, he played for four teams: The Washington Bullets, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors, and Toronto Raptors.
Since his retirement from the NBA, Bogues has coached basketball, worked in the real estate industry, and made appearances in various movies and television shows.