Last Updated: 2nd November, 2014

Tyrone Bogues: Standing Tall

tyrone-bogues-muggsy-cliff-spohnIt probably won’t surprise you to find out that the average height of an NBA basketball player is 6/7″, It s a sport that clearly demands and rewards tall men. Look at some of the all-time greats: Michael Jordan (6’2″), Kobe Bryant (6’6″), Magic Johnson (6’9″), Kareem Abdul-jabbar (7’2″), Yao Ming, the Chinese sensation (7’6″). Each of them has a huge fan following and they have all entertained and inspired millions of young people around the world.

While you are probably aware of the exploits of most of these stars, have you heard of Tyrone (Muggsy) Bogues?

Tyrone was an NBA star too. In a career spanning sixteen seasons, Tyrone was one of NBA’s all-time leaders in assist-to-turnover ratios. Voted as Charlotte Hornets’ Most Valuable Player for several years, Tyrone also held the team record for maximum minutes played, steals; assists and turnovers. Quite an achievement that!

But here’s what really made Tyrone a crowd favourite and an all-time hero. In a world dominated by the tall men who could easily rest their elbows on the hoop, Tyrone was a short guy. In fact, at 5’3″, Bogues was—and still remains—the shortest player in NBA history.

As a child growing up in the bylanes of Baltimore, Tyrone practiced the slam dunk by standing on upturned milk crates. He was short and, though he was passionate about the sport, no one really thought he could ever be NBA material. After all, he was so short! But Tyrone was determined to succeed, and ignored naysayers and sceptics. What he lacked in height, he made up with his speed, stamina and explosiveness on court. ‘I always believed in myself,’ he said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. `That’s the type of attitude I always took out on the floor, knowing that I belonged; that with my talents, my abilities, there’s a place for me out there.Tyrone Bogues

Tyrone became a terrific symbol of determination, hard work and self-belief. And he demonstrated how by ignoring your critics, focusing on your strengths and not getting caught up in your limitations, you can achieve your goals. ‘You can’t dwell on what people think you can’t do,’ he once famously remarked.

Think about it. How often do we allow the world around us to decide whether we are good enough? ‘You can’t do this because . . is a refrain we hear all the time And we let our goals slip away because we think we are not tall enough, or rich enough, or educated enough Pick your favorites self-limiting belief!

There are several lessons to be learnt from the life and times of Tyrone Bogues. Focus on your strengths. And not on your weaknesses. Ignore the pessimists and non-believers. Don’t waste time trying to set right limitations.

Focus in your strengths. And not on your weaknesses. Don’t waste time trying to set right the limitations

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