Many have the luxury to be playing in the NBA in spite having less talent and lesser heart. But for those who are vertically challenge but wears a big heart and a talent full of potential but untapped they will have to work harder to get notice. Earl Boykins knows there aren’t many of them that got the chance to play in the NBA. He is just 2 inches taller against Mugsy Bogues, the shortest player in NBA history who stands only at 5 foot 3 inches.
Earl was an All-Mid-American conference first team honor in his junior and senior year. He held the career record assists in East Michigan University (624) and was second in scoring in the NCAA men’s division I basketball championship but he was never drafted in the NBA. He thought he had done enough to get NBA teams nod but it seems time and time again he had to prove to them that he is worth the risk and he can be a valuable asset rather than a liability on the team. In 2004 Boykins scored 32 points against the eventual champion on that year the Detroit Pistons making him the shortest player to ever score 30 or more points in a single game.
The Washington Wizards signed Earl Boykins in November last year after Gilbert Arenas and Javaris Crittenton were facing suspensions for the remainder of the season on a gun incident.
On a game against the Milwaukee Bucks Flip Saunders placed Boykins as a decoy with Arenas, Caron Butler, Antawn Jamison and Brendan Haywood on the floor. Saunders instinctively knew that if given the chance Boykins will surely deliver. 10.5 seconds left and Earl knows this is the time to shine with Brandon Jennings guarding him tightly and he knows nobody expects him to take a shot or go straight to the basket. It was always been like that for the entirety of his career. He was too little and too risky but Boykins only wants that chance to prove himself and this is one instance he gets everybody’s attention. And redemption came on a pick and roll play when Haywood rolled and the ball stayed on Boykins hands as he pump faked and drew a foul against Jennings with only a second left in regulation. He sank two pressure pack free throws with ease and the Wizards won that game 104-102.
The Milwaukee Bucks recently signed Earl Boykins to a one year contract after losing Luke Ridnour to free agency. The 11 year veteran who played with 11 different teams in the NBA and overseas finally got the respect he wanted. Sometimes it’s not about the size that we look into it’s also all about how big the heart is. At 133 pounds who can bench press twice his size at 315 pounds somehow I’m not all surprise. Earl Boykins carry more than his diminutive size because he carries a bigger heart.