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Chuck Checks In

It's off to Dallas and Charlotte for the streaking Raptors and you have to respect the job the Mavs and Hornets have done early in the season. The Mavs have been entertaing fans with their up-tempo style of play triggered by Canadian Steve Nash, who has been brilliant at the point. Nash is finally healthy and now making big plays for Don Nelson.

Swirsky
Swirsky

Michael Finley is an outstanding talent and Dirk Nowitzski can play for me any day of the week. He can fill it up from three point range with the best of them.

I am delighted the Mavs are making inroads in the Dallas market. It's an underrated basketball city and with new owner Mark Cuban making a splash on and off the court the Mavs will be contending in the not so distant future.

The Hornets have got a five game win streak going and they're doing it without Derrick Coleman. Coleman ate himself off the active roster and in my opinion they're a better team without him. Jamal Mashburn is enjoying his finest start ever and has finally earned the respect of his ownership. After struggles in Dallas and Miami Mashburn has found a home in North Carolina.

Baron Davis is another intriguing player who is starting to blossom in this his second year in the NBA. But when one talks about the Hornets I still think of two current Raptors and ex-Hornets in Dell Curry and Muggsy Bogues. Curry remains the franchise's all time leading scorer and Bogues is the top assist man in Hornets' history.

Recently I sat down and talked to Muggsy about a variety of issues:

Chuck: Kids love you and always mention the movie Space Jam starring Michael Jordan in the lead role along with yourself, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and others. What was that experience like?

Bogues Bogues

Muggsy: I loved it. I had a great time and enjoyed every minute of it. We were there for ten days filming the movie.It was intense shooting in to the wee hours of the morning but we had great guys to work with such as Shawn Bradley and Larry Johnson. It was well balanced with the animated part of the movie and the acting scenes as well.

Chuck: Do you see yourself in the Hall of Fame one day? After all for a man 5-3 to accomplish what you've done in the NBA that speaks volumes regarding the obstacles you've overcome.

Muggsy: I don't think about it much. I know I've accomplished a great deal for a man of my height. It's been a blessing and I thank God for the talent. I've always given 110%.

Chuck: Muggsy be honest with me. Can you dunk?

Muggsy: I tipped one in college and dunked in high school. I can still touch the rim. I've always been a guy who has been able to get off my feet. I've still got a little hop to my game.

Chuck: Do you see anyone from the next generation of players playing in the NBA at your height?

Muggsy: I hope so. But you've got to have skill and believe in yourself. You've got to beat the odds.

Chuck: How many more years would you like to play?

Muggsy: I have a business in North Carolina but am open to coaching or broadcasting as well. I've got four years on my contract and want to play as long as I can with my knees but I'll let God take care of that.

Chuck: Are you kids in to basketball?

Muggsy: My son loves the sport. He can shoot the ball. My daughter likes to play a little bit but I'll encourage them in whatever they want to do.

Chuck: How did you get the name Muggsy?

Muggsy: From my days in Baltimore int he inner city when I was seven years old. There was a TV show that came on every week called the "Bowery Boys" and there was a character named Muggsy. The way I played basketball and the nicknmae stuck with me . No one calls me Tyrone except one person: Mom!

Chuck: Thanks, Muggsy

Muggsy: My pleasure Chuck and I want to say hello to all the Raptors fans on the web page.

Muggsy, by the way, remains on the injured list and hopefully will be back soon. He will be joining me on Raptors radio broadcasts when my regular partner Jack Armstrong is on assignment. He worked the Chicago game this past Sunday and did a terrific job.

All the best and keep those e-mails coming in to cswirsky@torontoraptors.com.