Muggsy Bogues is perhaps the biggest anomaly in the history of the NBA. The odds of him making it to the NBA standing at 5’3″ were slim to none, but he still made it to the league and played a prominent role in every team he played for in his NBA career. When playing for the Charlotte Hornets, he made his presence felt the most and was a starting point guard on that squad for multiple years. The Hornets had a great, talented, and young team, and Muggsy was the heart of that team averaging 10 points and ten assists to go alongside a few steals.
All of that success wouldn’t be possible if Muggsy didn’t believe in himself, and in an interview for Mulligan Brothers, he talked about all the hardship he had to endure when growing up because of his height. Playing basketball was nothing but pure joy for Muggsy, and he always believed the NBA is a place where he belongs, never doubting himself for a single second.
My heart was bigger than my height, so I didn’t have any hang-ups believing that I belong with the best of the best because my heart was just as big as theirs.Muggsy Bogues, via Mulligan Brothers
As a kid, Muggsy was often made fun of by other kids, especially because he dreamed of playing basketball professionally, and that didn’t sit well with others who didn’t think Muggsy can make it. According to Muggsy, despite being only 5’3,” he never wanted to be taller, and just accepted what he has and worked hard every day to be a better player.
I didn’t have no hang-ups on wanting to be tall, I didn’t have a wish I was tall. Kids don’t understand it, I never wished I was tall. People don’t believe that, but I never wished I was tall, and I just accepted who I was. It was hurtful, I was getting short jokes and those types of things, but I never wished I was tall. I just wanted to play basketball, and if it was the division two, I probably would have been satisfied. Knowing the type of kid that I was and who I was, and the competitive person, I wanted it all. I wasn’t just going to satisfy with what someone else has planned for me. I wanted to create my own destiny, and I started to understand that.Muggsy Bogues, via Mulligan Brothers
Facing prejudice in high-school and college is something Muggsy learned to deal with, but his most challenging task was when he arrived in the NBA in convincing coaches he can play and be a valuable piece of the puzzle for any team. Back then, coaches preferred big guards, and it was hard for Muggsy when he was initially drafted, but after a while, he got accustomed to everything and started to show his potential and what he can do.
At the time, coaching was still in the mindset of big guards, big guards was the key of running our program. We was trying to break those barriers and break the mindsets of the coaches and let them know I can be just as impactful at this size and run your program. Be just as effective as a taller player. So all those things I had to do that I did allowed me still to be impactful and change the game in that regards where my height is not being as discussed so much.Muggsy Bogues, via Mulligan Brothers
Nobody expected Muggsy to play in the NBA. However, he spent 14 productive seasons in the NBA, finishing his career averaging 7.7 points, 7.6 assists, and 1.5 steals, which is pretty solid when you consider everything. Muggsy’s story is proof nobody should doubt themselves, but on the other hand, work hard and find faith in what you are doing because that is the only way you can do what you set your mind to, just like Muggsy did when he started playing basketball.