By Larry Harris
It may be hard for oldtimers to swallow, but
Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues
, that dashing 5-foot-3 dynamo point guard who wowed foes and spectators alike at Dunbar High School, Wake Forest University and in the NBA, is now 46 years old.
Recently, he sent out a belated thank-you to that richer-than-Croesus owner of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks,
, for something that happened 10 years ago, when Bogues' pro career was winding down. Cuban may have justly earned NBA disdain from many because of his off- and on-court shenanigans, but in Bogues' book, the disruptive business giant, who is said to be worth more than $2.5 billion, is A-OK.
Baltimoreans have fond memories of Bogues and his Dunbar teammates of the 1980s who once won 59 games in a row and won acclaim as the best high school team in the nation. He was so popular at Wake Forest and in the ACC that the Deacons retired his jersey. He was the Washington Bullets' first draft choice in 1987, but played only one year near home before being picked up by the then-Hornets of Charlotte, where he spent most of his lengthy pro career.
Bogues is the shortest player ever to be a regular in the NBA and he racked up career averages of 7.7 points and 7.6 assists per game during 889 contests. Near the end of his playing days, he was dealt to Dallas with three years left on his contract, worth $3.6 million. Bogues, still shaken by his mother's recent death, chose to walk away from basketball and Cuban honored every dime of the deal, no questions asked.
"I've never met Mr. Mark Cuban, but I tell people that I thank him more than life itself," Bogues told the online site SLAM recently. "And I'm happy the Dallas Mavericks won the championship. That's a great organization."
More Front Row:
Would Baltimore Support Hockey Once Again? Oldtimers Say Yes
Fantasy Monster Keys TV Ratings Explosion
Soccer Coaches Pushing One-Way-For-All Style
Deserving Wagner Chosen For Anne Arundel Hall Of Fame
Barnstorming Legend Finally Laid To Rest
Muggsy Thanks Cuban For Dealing Pat Hand
From The Cheap Seats
Issue 166: October 2011