Muggsy Bogues was truly a freak of nature when you take everything into account. The sheer fact he was a legitimate starting point guard for an NBA team standing at 5’3″ is remarkable since he had to go up against giants on a nightly basis. Throughout his life, Bogues learned how to face adversity, and that type of mindset in which he never cared about failure but being the best version of himself, helped him tremendously in his NBA career.
His former teammate Rex Chapman made a guest appearance on The Rich Eisen Show a while back and talked about Muggsy and how he deserves more respect than he was given throughout his career. Chapman said Muggsy was capable of doing anything other point guards of that time did, especially when it comes to getting his teammates involved and putting them in a position to score and be successful. He was a selfless player, always looking to make the right play and imposing his quickness on the opposing guards.
Muggs was incredible, and I’ve been saying it for years now. Muggs was 5 foot 3 Jason Kidd; he really was. He could get anywhere. He was so fast, faster with the ball probably than without it. He just lived to get the shooters open. He delivered the ball on time. The only guys Muggsy couldn’t guard at his position were Gary Payton and Magic Johnson. So I would guard those two whenever, even though I didn’t do a good job.Rex Chapman, via The Rich Eisen Show
Something relatively unknown about Muggst is that he was into wrestling while in high school, and apparently, he was pretty good at it. Chapman remembers a scene after practice when Muggsy and another teammate J.R. Reid got into an argument over wrestling. Reid was a big 250-pound center who told Muggsy he couldn’t wrestle. Muggsy took that as a challenge and, in a matter of seconds, dropped Reid so hard, everyone on the squad was in disbelief, and for Chapman, it was a moment when he realized nobody should mess around with Bogues.
He was so strong because he wrestled in high school. I will never forget one day after practice him and J.R. Reid were japing about wrestling and him telling Muggsy he can’t wrestle. We came out of the shower one day, everybody is getting dressed, and Muggs and J.R. stroll out of the shower, and Muggs pops him with the towel. He turns around, and them two are squaring off, and before you knew what was going on, Muggs was behind J.R., picked him, and put him on his head. The place went crazy. You don’t mess with Muggs because he can play.Rex Chapman, via The Rich Eisen Show
Bogues averaged 7.7 points and 7.6 assists for his entire career, but he was a legitimate double-double machine during his best years with the Charlotte Hornets. He had several seasons in which he averaged over 10 points and 10 assists per game. Unfortunately, injuries caught up to him, and he was not as productive in the last few years of his career. Despite all that, Muggsy was a truly unique physical specimen who proved that anything could be achieved if you work hard enough and that heart is sometimes more important than height.