The Story Of Michael Jordan Ruining Muggsy Bogues’ Career: “Shoot It You F**king Midget”

Photo Credit: Ruth Fremson/Associated Press

The Story Of Michael Jordan Ruining Muggsy Bogues’ Career: “Shoot It You F**king Midget”

 

Michael Jordan is one of the most intimidating competitors the game has ever seen. Besides his killer mentality and skills to show for it, Jordan also has a reputation for his trash-talking and reckless personality. His attitude has always been well-documented — Jordan speaks his mind no matter who is in front of him.

This was exactly the case when Jordan was matched up against the shortest player to ever play in the NBA, Muggsy Bogues. Just like everybody else, the 5-foot-3 point guard wasn’t spared from Jordan’s intimidating verbal jabs.

The story goes back to Game 5 of the first round series between the Charlotte Hornets and the Chicago Bulls in the 1995 NBA Playoffs. The Bulls and Charlotte were tied, and the Hornets had a chance to swing the series. However, in a huge and game-deciding possession, Bogues bricked an uncontested shot in front of Jordan, who gave him the space and told him to shoot it.

 

“Shoot it you f*cking midget!” 

 

 

The Bulls eventually won the game and closed the series. Former Bulls assistant coach Johnny Bach, who told the story, also said that the Charlotte point guard came up to him and said that it was that single play that ruined his career.

 

Johnny said physically Jordan and Pippen were about the same as defenders. But when you add in MJ’s ruthlessness and trash talk, that put him ahead of Scottie. When Johnny was coaching with the Hornets in 1995 they had a good team. Glen Rice, Mourning, Johnson. Series was tied at 2 and Hornets had a chance to win game 5 in Chicago. On the biggest possession of the game, Mugsy had the ball with the Hornets down 1. Jordan backed off of him and told him: “shoot it you f*cking midget.” Mugsy shot it, didn’t come close. A year later Mugsy actually told Johnny Bach that he believes that single play ruined his career. His shot never recovered.

 

However, this rumor was eventually downplayed by Bogues himself who said that trash-talking is just a part of the game and those type of things have no effect at all.

 

 

There’s no telling if Bach was exaggerating or Bogues was capping. But as the numbers suggest, Bogues really got worse after that year. He only averaged 5.9 points per game on 45.1% FG for the rest of his career after averaging double-digit scoring numbers with 10.6 points per game on 46.7% FG in three seasons prior to the incident. 

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