10.14.2008

Moses Takes Exception to Dietary-Chant

1981-82 Boston Celtics

If he were playing for the Celtics and if all this happened in, say, Philadelphia in front of all their crazies, this would be written here as a fabled night when Moses and the Celtics silenced the whacked-out Spectrum crowd. Well, he was playing for Houston and he did it here and he silenced the whacked-out Boston crowd and it was the same sort of story. Houston 106. Boston 104.

Moses won the game.

There was a timeout with 3:01 left and the Celtics leading, 96-94, when a guy brought out a banner saying "Moses Eats Bird Droppings." He stood on top of a chair to make sure eveyone noticed. He received a standing ovation and the chant began again about what Moses eats, but that was just about that. Moses' diet became secondary to what Moses did the rest of the way.

The big Houston center, seven years in the league and still only 26 years old, scored six of the next eight Houston points. Whoops. The score was 102-98, Houston, with a minute left and the grizzly was laughing back at the patrons. Seems they had put their arms too close to the cage. Seems Moses won the ballgame, finishing with 37 points and 11 rebounds and the good story.

"It was not a nice night," his teammate, Robert Reid, said. "There's no need for signs like that. Now here's a sign they had in San Antonio - Moses: Take Your People Home.' Now, that's a nice sign. Funny. There was nothing funny about those signs tonight."

Most of the Rockets felt that way. What was all the commotion about? Was all this necessary? Wasn't this basketball? Didn't all that other noise happen last year?

"Say this about the big fellow, he takes it," teammate Elvin Hayes said. "He took it tonight and then he put some silence in those people. Didn't he?"

The big fellow mostly downplayed it all. He made some little jokes. He said he had no trouble with Larry Bird. He said Bird never had said anything to him.

"He's out on the court," Moses said. "He can say something anytime he wants. He doesn't have to be 3000 miles away."

There were a lot of questions about what Moses had for breakfast, about what he had for lunch and dinner. Moses never did say, but Rockets' coach Del Harris probably had the best answer of all.

"What did Moses have for supper?" Harris was asked.

"You'll have to ask Mo," the coach replied. "But whatever it is, I hope he keeps eating it."

End of night.

Moses won the game.

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