Nov. 19, 1988

The bone spurs in Larry Bird’s heels had already taken its toll on the Celtics season. And not surprisingly it drained the fans’ of their interest in the team’s routine, day-to-day operations.

While the Celtics were coming off a 114-108 win over the Washington Bullets, the real news was that Bird’s surgery was scheduled for 3 p.m. at New England Baptist Hospital. Team physician Dr. Arthur Scheller would perform the surgery, with help from foot specialist Dr. Roger Mann.

The procedure was expected to take no more than two hours. If all goes well Bird would be discharged in two or three days.

His rehab would likely take upwards of three months.

As for the Celtics who played the night before, they endured despite struggling under the backboards (the Bullets out-rebounded them 44-33) as Robert Parish scored 28 points and Kevin McHale had 27. The victory brought the C’s to 4-4 on the season.

Oh ,,, and with 1:47 left, the packed Garden serenaded Bird, chanting his name and providing him a prolonged standing ovation as he stood behind the Celts’ time-out huddle, wearing street clothes.