A tribute to Muggsy Bogues, the shortest player in NBA history

At 5 ft 3 inches, Bogues is comfortably the shortest player in NBA history. His 14 seasons in the NBA serves a testament to his ability as a player.

In his rookie year, Bogues was a teammate of Manute Bol who stood 7 ft 7 in (2.31 m) tall. They were the tallest and shortest players in NBA history at the time, with 28 inches (71 cm) difference between them.

Fortunately for Bogues, and basketball as a sport, this gimmick combination was short lived and he was soon selected by the Hornets in their expansion draft. He is the Hornets’ career leader in minutes played (19,768), assists (5,557), steals (1,067), turnovers (1,118), and assists per 48 minutes (13.5).

SEE ALSO: Remembering Manute Bol, the tallest man in NBA history

If you consider the average height of an NBA player is a fraction over 6 ft 7 inches, the achievements of the smaller guys can’t be underestimated. Few sports carry such a disadvantageous height requirement, and players like Muggsy should be remembered, not just for the odds that were stacked against them, but for the talent and strength that earned them a spot in the NBA.

Innate athletic ability should not be the most impressive thing about a sportsperson. Of course, we can all marvel at the likes of Shaquille O’neal, abundantly blessed with the incompatible combination of size and mobility, but it’s the other guys you should observe. Those people who didn’t win the lottery of life in the physique department. Players like Jason Williams and Steph Curry, they take what they have and maximise it to the fullest. Too often American sport prioritises size over finesse; I stand by my assessment of a the NFL, who nicknames an athlete after a household appliance?

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