Muggsy Bogues is well-known for being the shortest player to ever play in the NBA at just 5 ft 3”. Considering the types of moves involved in dunking, this shot is usually performed by the basketball giants.
Aside from being short, Muggsy Bogues was highly regarded for his leadership and impeccable speed. But could Muggsey Bogues dunk? Let’s find out whether dunking was another one of this basketball legend’s many talents.
What is Slam Dunking?
A dunk or a slam dunk is when a player leaps into the air and thrusts the ball into the basket with one or two hands above the rim. This shot is considered a type of field goal and successfully performing one is worth two points.
Basketball hoops are exactly 10 feet tall, and as the average height of an NBA player is 6 ft 5”, dunking is relatively easy to do for tall players. Shorter players have to jump higher to reach the hoop, so performing a dunk is more challenging, which is why it’s all the more surprising when they are successful.
Short Answer: Could Muggsy Bogues Dunk?
There’s no video proof of Muggsy Bogues dunking, but there is other evidence that suggests that Muggsy could dunk. People have claimed that they’ve seen Muggsy dunk, and the star himself even confirmed he could.
If you want to know a bit more about the proof that indicates Muggsy could dunk, then stick around! We’ll be going over this more extensively later on.
Who is Muggsy Bogues?
Before we jump into more detail about whether Muggsy Bogues could dunk or not, let’s take a closer look at the man’s history and extensive basketball career.
Tyrone Bogues, or “Muggsy” as we know him, was born in 1965 on January 9th in Baltimore, Maryland. Even as a child, Muggsy was not tall, but his lack of height didn’t prevent him from excelling at basketball.
Muggsy and his friends toned their basketball skills by using a plastic milk crate with the bottom cut out, and affixing the crate to a fence to create a makeshift hoop. It just goes to show that it doesn’t take money to become a star basketball player, but dedication and passion.
Alongside basketball, Muggsy had a talent for wrestling and baseball as a child. He earned his moniker “Muggsy” due to his standout leadership and resilience in pickup basketball games in Baltimore.
Bogues was coached by Bob Wade when he played basketball for the Dunbar Poets at Dunbar High School. Future NBA players Reggie Williams, Reggie Lewis, and David Wingate were among his teammates.
The 1981-’82 Dunbar Poets completed the season at 29-0 during Muggsy’s junior season, going on to finish 31-0 during his senior season. They were ranked first in the nation by USA Today.
Muggsy was given a scholarship to Wake Forest University and became their finest point guard. Once his collegiate career came to a close, he was the Atlantic Coast Conference leader in both assists and steals.
Professional Basketball Career
In the 1987 NBA draft, he was drafted 12th overall by the Washington Bullets. He made his NBA debut in 1987 on November 6th against the Atlanta Hawks. He started and led the team in assists.
Muggsy was 16.5 inches shorter than the average NBA player around the time of his debut. He was a teammate of Manute Bol who was 7 ft 7 inches tall, the tallest player in NBA history at the time. There was a staggering 28 inches difference between the two of them.
The basketball legend had a successful career with the NBA that lasted 13 years, ten of those years were with the Charlotte Hornets. He was recognized for his unmatchable speed, passing skills, and unwavering ability to steal the ball from his opponents.
During the 1993-’94 season, he averaged a whopping 10.8 points per game and 10.7 assists. At one point, he even managed to block a shot from 7-ft center Patrick Ewing.
After a phenomenal period in the NBA, Muggsy retired after the 2000-2001 season as a Toronto Raptor. Since hanging up his sneakers, he has coached basketball, worked as a real estate agent, and appeared in movies and television shows.
How Tall was Muggsy Bogues?
Muggsy Bogues is 5 ft 3 inches tall and weighs around 136 pounds. But make no mistake, even with his small stature, the man was a powerhouse on the basketball court.
His short size made him incredibly fast, lightweight, and allowed him to jump extremely high.
Why was Muggsy so Short?
To this day, Muggsy Bogues is the shortest basketball player in NBA history, but is there a reason why he was so short?
Muggsy said he came from a family of “5-footers” and that:
“I always tell people, I think my mom had me when I was 5 feet, 3 inches – I don’t remember ever growing.”
His mother was 4 ft 11 inches and his father was 5 ft 5 inches, so his small size is simply down to genetics.
What was Muggsy Bogues Vertical Leap?
Muggsy Bogues had a vertical leap of 44.3 inches, which was tested by the NBA. The average NBA player has a vertical leap of about 28 inches, so you can see why Muggsy was such a powerful teammate and opponent on the court.
Long Answer: Could Muggsy Bogues Dunk?
It’s clear that Muggsy had remarkable basketball skills, but could he actually dunk? While there’s no video evidence of Muggsy dunking, there are a lot of facts that suggest that he could indeed slam dunk.
Firstly, there are multiple sources that claim Muggsy slam dunked in a pregame warm-up session on December 4th, 1990. Unfortunately, there’s no footage of this, so we can’t say for sure.
However, Muggsy Bogues’ vertical jump was 44 inches, so he would have no trouble jumping above the basketball rim and dunking a ball.
Lastly, the man himself even said in a couple of interviews that he could dunk. First, in an interview with Coach Mag, he revealed “I never dunked in an NBA game… but I can dunk a basketball no problem.”.
And second in a 2000 interview with Chuck Swisky when asked if he can dunk, he replied:
“I tipped one in college and dunked in high school. I can still touch the rim. I’ve always been a guy who has been able to get off my feet. I’ve still got a little hop to my game.”
Although there are no videos of Muggsy dunking, it seems highly likely that he could dunk. As he confirmed personally that he could slam dunk and had the ability to jump extraordinary heights, the spectators at the December 1990 pregame session were probably telling the truth.
So, all in all, yes, Muggsy Bogues could dunk.
Why Didn’t Muggsy Bogues Dunk in an NBA Game?
While it’s very probable that Muggsy Bogues could dunk, why didn’t he ever perform one in an NBA game?
Slam dunking during a game is a huge crowd pleaser and always looks impressive, but it’s unnecessary. The most likely reason why Muggsy didn’t dunk in an NBA game is that it would take too much effort and energy. He was better off saving his energy for defensive plays and maintaining his trademark agility.
Who is the Shortest Dunker Ever?
Spud Webb is the shortest NBA player to dunk in-game, measuring only 5ft 6 inches. In addition to being an avid dunker in games, he won the 1986 NBA Slam Dunk Contest. Webb defeated Dominique Wilkins in the final round of the contest with two perfect 50-point scores.
This feat is challenging for even the tallest basketball players, so the fact that Webb managed it despite his short height is a remarkable achievement.
How Much is Muggsy Bogues Worth?
With such an impressive basketball resume, you might be wondering how much Muggsy Bogues is worth. Currently, Muggsy Bogues is worth around 15 million dollars.
As you can see, his height never weighed him down and stopped him from pursuing a career in basketball, and an impressive one at that!
Why was Slam Dunking Banned?
If you didn’t already know, dunking was actually banned in 1967 for 9 years. The NCAA prohibited dunking before the 1967-1968 college season for two reasons. They believed a slam dunk “was not a skillful shot”, and were also concerned about the risk of injury associated with performing one.
The NCAA cited a report comprising 1,500 events where a player was injured around the backboard during the year before. Although they never revealed this themselves, people believe the NCAA enforced a slam dunk ban due to UCLA’s Kareem-Abdul Jabbar (formerly known as Lew Alcindor).
He was known for dunking over his opponents with zero challenge. The media actually nicknamed the ban the “Lew Alcindor rule”.
It’s no secret that Muggy Bogues was a phenomenal basketball player. Even with physical challenges, he never once let it hold him back and showed extraordinary perseverance and talent.
His incredible agility, leadership, and toughness made him a true force to be reckoned with on the court.
And his skills don’t just end there, as it’s almost certain that he could dunk based on all the information we’ve looked at above. Was there anything this basketball legend couldn’t do?