Veggie Enforcer

Red Hot and Rollin', that book about the 1977 Portland Trail Blazers, has gotten a lot of play on ESPN.com -- and deservedly so. But there's one great little detail that I just have to add to the mix. It comes from a conversation the book's editor, Matt Love, had with Maurice Lucas:

Lucas: I was a vegetarian for my whole career in professional basketball. ... I read a couple really nice books on proper nutrition, eating the proper things, meditation. I was doing a lot of transcendental meditation, and so with that and the food, it all came together and worked. Of course, my mom thought I was crazy, that I had lost my mind.

Love: What did the other guys in the league think about your vegetarianism? That is unheard of today.

Lucas: Well, when I beat them all up they wouldn't say jack.