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Muggsy Bogues: Could The NBA’s Shortest Ever Player Dunk?

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4th Dec 1990; the day that the five feet three inch Tyrone Muggsy Bogues actually dunked. Or did he? There’re more than some sources available that claim that Muggsy Bogues actually dunked during a pregame warm-up session on the same day, but without video evidence, it’s hard to confirm.

However, Here Is What We Do Know!

First, with a reported forty-four-inch vertical jump, he’d be capable of getting above the rim and dunking the basketball. Second, he claimed that he could actually dunk on several occasions. In an Interview with Coach Mag,

Muggsy Bogues said I never dunked during the NBA game, but I can actually dunk a basketball with no issue. And an interview back in 2000 with Chuck Swirsky went like this:

Chuck: Muggsy, be truthful with me. Can you actually dunk?

Muggsy replied: I actually tipped one during college and dunked in high school. I can still reach the rim. I have always been a person who has been capable of getting off my feet. I still have a bit hop to my game.

If he could actually dunk in high school, there is a good motive to believe the viewers of the Dec 1990 pregame session were not making everything up. After all, he was at the peak of his career at that time. So, he could dunk.

Then Why Didn’t He Ever Dunk During An NBA Game?

The answer is much more straightforward. Dunking in an actual game would be hard, energy-consuming, and unnecessary. Muggsy played to his benefit of being a small player on the court. He earned his name as a defensive menace, an agile and quick pest in the giants’ field.

Muggsy Bogues with the rest of the Space Jam cast
Muggsy Bogues with the rest of the Space Jam cast

He really became an icon in the era of Michael Jordan and emerged in the fan-favorite 1996 movie Space Jam. Given the fact that he did not ever dunk during a game, the title of shortest NBA player to dunk actually belongs to Spud Webb.

Measuring just five feet seven inches, Spud Webb not just dunked in games but even won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in 1986.

Dominique Wilkins was defeated by him in the final round with two perfect fifty-point scores, a feat very few others have actually achieved. Muggsy Bogues built himself as an NBA legend, but not for the dunking he did. Time will tell whether the point guards who are super short will actually make a return to the NBA.

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