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“Shoot It, You Fu****g Midget!”: How Michael Jordan Ruined a Fellow NBA Player’s Career

Published 04/29/2020, 7:15 AM EDT

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Michael Jordan being mean to his opponents is nothing new for the NBA community. As a matter of fact, many believed his straight forward comments made the league’s players afraid of him and made them perform better. However, there also exist instances of MJ’s tough mouth, which lead to demotivation for many.

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The NBA community considered Muggsy Bogues as a strong, quick, tenacious on-ball defender. He was a defensive nightmare and loved guarding players full-court. Unfortunately, he was also the shortest NBA player. Many used his weak point to outplay him. However, Michael Jordan also used it to be a jerk to him.


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The incident took place in Chicago. The Series was tied at 2 and Hornets had a chance to win Game 5.

Down just by one to the Bulls, the Hornets needed to make one more huge basket to avoid getting kicked out of the 1995 NBA Playoffs. Muggsy Bogues took the ball during this biggest possession of the game with Michael Jordan guarding him. Eventually, Jordan stepped back to give Bogues some space.

It is said that Michael Jordan ruined Muggsy Bogues’ career by telling him to shoot the ball during that big moment in the 1995 playoffs. MJ said to him, “Shoot it, you fu****g midget!”.

How Jordan apparently ruined Muggsy’s career

The Charlotte Hornets’ point guard took the shot and failed miserably. The Bulls won that game, 85-84, and moved onto the semifinals.


The rumor is that this comment and the following play ruined Muggsy’s career. He was never the same. He averaged only 5.9 points per game for the rest of his career, and the community usually blames MJ for that.

To put things in perspective, before MJ’s comment, Bogues averaged double-digits for three straight years. Eventually, he told Johnny Bach (the Hornets Coach at the time) that he believes that exact play ruined his career.


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Since Mugsy was the shortest player in the NBA, he must have struggled to be taken seriously. To have as successful an NBA career as Muggsy had (1st round pick, 15 seasons, 7.6 apg) at his height probably required the ability to ignore constant jokes from teammates, coaches, fans and critics.

So when MJ, a star who Mugsy idolized just like the many players in the league, insulted him, it must have hit him hard. Even though everyone knew Jordan for his trash talk, maybe he should have taken into consideration how his words influence people.

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Written by:

Maitreyee Joshi


One take at a time