"I'll always be number one to myself."
~Moses Malone

The story: Moses Malone was one of the most dominant centers in NBA history. He won three regular season MVPs (in 1979, 1982, and 1983), and he was also named Finals MVP in 1983 when he lead the Philidelphia 76ers to a four-game sweep on the Los Angeles Lakers. But for much of his career, he was an arrogant, irritable, grumbling brute of a man who had an unfortunate habit of bragging himself up while badmouthing his opponents (see below). And although Moses, by all indications, has chilled out in his later years, he'll always be number one...for me to go number two on.

"Moses does eat shit!"
~Larry Bird

The story: The Houston Rockets were playing the Boston Celtics in the 1981 NBA Finals. With the series tied at two games a piece, Moses stated pooped all over the Celtics in the press, stating emphatically that he had no respect for them. He even went to far as to say that he could pick any four guys off the playground in his hometown of Petersburg, Virgina, and the five of them could easily beat the Celtics. Moses soon learned that just like you shouldn't shoot a grizzly bear in the ass with a BB gun, you also shouldn't piss off Larry Bird and the Celtics. Boston went on to win Game 5 by 29 points, and then they finished off the Rockets in Houston in Game 6. During the championship rally back in Boston, a fan held up a sign that said "Moses eats shit". Larry smiled when he saw it and loudly agreed...much to the crowd's delight.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
As part of the two fans who were holding up the infamous sign ( created on a bedsheet and paint), I say GO CELTICS - GO GREEN!!!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
anonymous -- If you come back here, I have to ask: Do you have any pictures of that sign? If you email me (basketbawful@yahoo.com) I'd love to get the full story so we can post it here on the site.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Basketbawful - here's the story - the picture of the sign was on the front page of the Boston Globe. The story starts... "he was tempted, yes he was tempted"... Bird saw the sign and the rest is history.

The sign read "Moses eats Bird Shit". It was created after a night of partying - in fact we went to the airport to meet the Celtics upon their return home.

The sign was resurrected a couple of years later (1984??) with the Moses crossed out and Magic inserted.

No one expected Larry Bird to repeat it quite so eloquently... the crowd started the cheer immediately after he said it. Too bad there was no youtube back then!

Blogger Basketbawful said...
anonymous -- So was the second sign the original, or did someone recreate it? And what was the ultimate fate of the sign? And...would you and the second sign-holder mind providing names or aliases for the story?

I dug up the story from the Globe. Sadly, they don't keep pictures in the archive. Did you ever snap a pic of it?

Anonymous Anonymous said...
BB -

Sorry to say... I've lost touch with the sign. My boyfriend had custody of it after our breakup. There were pictures - but they are with the sign as well.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I was at the airport when the Celtics arrived after winning - and then went to Government Center for the celebration. The sign was very visible at Government Center and had the crowd "a buzz" before the Celtics came out to address the very large crowd.

On the 2nd level tier, Larry walked out and the place went wild. But no one was ready for his "Moses DOES eat shit!" line, including the press/TV stations (which were broadcasting live without delay back then). The place went biserk. One of my fondest sports memories. I think it took a week for my voice to come back.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
i was 10 years old.. 5 friends from east boston painted it in red on a flattened cardboard box..

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Sorry everyone but there were only two of us that day holding that sign markered on a cardboard box. YES we came from Eastie AND my friend who was holding the sign with me fell through Government center T station plastic roof bubbles an I got the sign back to Eastie..