Just over two weeks after Darryl Dawkins died, another notable Philadelphia 76er has passed away, as Hall of Famer Moses Malone died in his sleep on Sunday morning in Virginia. Malone, 60, was scheduled to play in a golf tournament with former Houston Rockets teammate Calvin Murphy in Norfolk.
Malone had a long and illustrious playing career, which began in the ABA. He was one of the first players to jump from high school straight to the pros, beginning his career with the Utah Stars of the ABA in 1974 after initially committing to play at the University of Maryland.
The ABA merged with the NBA two years later, and Malone immediately made a name for himself in Houston. He won his first MVP award with the Rockets in 1979 at the age of 24, and he won another one in 1982 before being traded to Philadelphia.
The 1982-83 Sixers went 65-17 with a core of Malone, Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney, and they’re widely considered one of the best teams of all time. Malone won his second straight MVP, and this was the year in which he made his infamous “fo’ fo’ fo'” declaration before the playoffs, which was a postseason that saw Philly go 12-1 en route to an NBA title and a Finals MVP for the big man.
Malone played for numerous other teams before retiring after the 1994-1995 season. This was the last shot of his career:
When it was all said and done, Malone scored nearly 30,000 points between the NBA and ABA. He’s the all-time leader in offensive rebounds since that became an official stat in 1973-74. He was a 12-time NBA All-Star and two-time ABA All-Star. He made the All-NBA First Team four teams and All-NBA Second Team four teams. He was named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1997 and inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.
With Malone’s passing, the NBA has truly lost an all-time great. May he rest in peace.