With their 12th pick in the first round of the 1987 NBA Draftthe Washington Bullets (now the Wizards) chose Tyrone “Muggsy” Bugs, a native of Baltimore, just completed a four-year career at Wake Forest University. Bogues was a lightning-fast playmaker known for his precision passing and penchant for dashing through tight defensive holes – a skill not entirely unrelated to the fact that he was only 5ft tall and 3 inches.
At that height, Bogues became the shortest NBA player the league had ever seen, and no one has broken his record since.
His stint with the Bullets only lasted one season after which he was taken over by the newly formed Charlotte Hornets. He spent about a decade there before moving to the Golden State Warriors and eventually retiring with the Toronto Raptors after the 2000-01 season. While in Washington, Bogues was able to share the home court with compatriot Bullet Manute Bowlincluding 7 feet, 6 inches (or 7 feet, 7 inchesaccording to the source) made him the greatest player in the NBA at the time.
But like Sportscasting highlights, Bugs is not only known for its small size. No other player in Hornets history has had more assists or steals; many of his peers sang his praises as a rambling trailblazer who pushed teammates and competitors beyond their normal tactics.
“We all did what Muggsy said on the floor,” former Hornets teammate Dell Curry said in a clip from an NBA TV special titled Muggsy: Always Believe. “It was the general. We trusted him with the ball.
There are many others short players who have had successful careers in the league, too. Earl Boykins, at 5ft 5in, filtered through several teams in the early 2000s. And Spud Webb – barely an inch taller than Boykins – won the NBA Slam Dunk contest in 1986. He also posted the best free throw percentage (about 93%) in the 1994-95 season. The title of “shortest NBA player of all time,” however, unquestionably belongs to Muggsy Bogues.