Everything You Wanted to Know about Muggsy Bogues—But Weren’t Afraid to Ask, 1987

Bogues, 22, is a human assist machine, a whirling magician who appears from out of nowhere to slap the ball away from towering opponents, push it upcourt, fake a drive to his left, and then flick a bounce pass to a teammate on the right for an easy layup.

Damn Elevator

The hydraulic whirr stuttered, and then Jim Henneman, the Bullets’ publicity man, felt the elevator groan to a jarring. abrupt halt. Henneman jabbed the button for the lobby. Nothing. He punched again and took a deep, God-help-me breath. If only he had taken the stairs. The freight elevator was notorious for breaking down between floors of the Baltimore Civic Center. 

‘Don’t Screw Up the Team’

Since first demanding that the Bullets trade Earl Monroe, Larry Fleisher had now whittled down the list of acceptable franchises to one. the New York Knicks. For Fleisher, it was simply the best fit. The Knicks were a veteran team that remained in the NBA championship hunt. New York fans would be sophisticated enough to appreciate Monroe’s magic act whenever he flashed his Earl the Pearl mystique.

The Sick, The Lame, and The Swollen

In March 1971, the Baltimore Bullets and Philadelphia 76ers met in the first round of the NBA playoffs. It would be the start of Earl Monroe’s final playoff run in Baltimore. It also would go down in NBA history as one of the league’s more-grueling playoff jousts. Not quite in the category of the Knicks-Heat clashes of the 1990s—but close. Having recently published the book Shake and Bake with NBA great Archie Clark, I have a clip file of the series from the Baltimore Morning Sun, Baltimore Evening Sun, Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and Philadelphia Evening Bulletin. Beloved bylines such as: Alan Goldstein, Seymour Smith, Bob Maisel, Mark Heisler, Alan Richman (yes, the food critic), Bill Tanton, Mike Janofsky, and Jack Kiser.