Basketball has become a sport where the tall dominate. Somebody forget to tell Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues about that.
Bogues was 5-3, which is 160cm. Any way it is measured he is short for basketball, especially the NBA.
But he could play basketball and he would use his size, and speed, as a weapon. He was able to steal the ball from the best point guards in the NBA.
Tyrone Bogues played four seasons at Wake Forest, after playing high school basketball at Dunbar High. With Wake Forest, he played more and more every season as he developed his game.
His scoring averages were 1.2 points as a freshman followed by 6.6 points, 11.3 points and 14.8 points as a senior. During his final year of college basketball he passed for 9.5 assists and, despite his lack of height, was able to 3.8 rebounds a game.
Many of the short stars of college basketball fall in the NBA draft but Bogues went in the first round of the 1987 NBA draft when he was picked by the Washington Bullets. Considering the Washington Bullets didn’t play him in his rookie year, it was a strange pick for them to make.
Bogues averaged 5 points and 5.1 assists per game but Washington didn’t mind if he left in the expansion draft.
The Charlotte Hornets had to build a new NBA team and they wanted players who could bring in the fans and also play the game well. With Bogues they got both, he was a hit with the fans and would be their starter at point guard for many years.
For his height, Bogues was great from the field as he usually shot 47% with the Hornets. He had one season there of 49.1% shooting from the field.
He hit his medium-range shots and when there was a fast break he made sure he got to the other end of the floor before the defenders did so he could lay the ball in. From the free throw line Bogues hit around 80% of his shots during his time with Charlotte.
While his passing was great, with a season high of 10.7 assists per game with Charlotte, it was the speed and effort he put in as a defender that was remarkable. Bringing the ball up the floor was difficult for even the best NBA point guards.
They weren’t used to playing against someone so much shorter than they were and Bogues had quick hands and quick feet to stop their forward progress and steal the ball. When Bogues left Charlotte he was their all-time steals, and assists, leader.
In 1997 the Hornets made a move and sent Bogues and Tony Delk to the Golden State Warriors for B.J. Armstrong. He was a productive player there but didn’t stay long and in September of 1999 Bogues joined a new team when he signed as a free agent with the Toronto Raptors.
There were more trades to come as Bogues would join the Knicks. The trade was Bogues and another point guard, Mark Jackson, going to the New York Knicks for Chris Childs and a 2002 first round draft pick. One last part of his career was to be a minor part in a huge trade that sent Glen Rice to Houston. In a trade involving New York, Houston and Dallas, Bogues would go to the Mavericks.