Like everyone else, I was shocked and saddened to learn that Moses Malone died on Sept. 13, at just 60-years-old. One of the NBA’s 50 Greatest players, Malone died due to hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, the chief medical examiner’s office in Norfolk said on Monday.
Malone was one of the hardest-working players in the history of the game. A first-ballot member of the Hall of Fame, Malone was the first player to go directly from high school (Petersburg, Va.) to professional basketball, when he was drafted by the Utah Stars in 1974. He played two seasons in the ABA before joining the NBA and embarking on an 18-year career.
A 12-time All-Star, the 6-10 Malone was a monster on the boards or anywhere near the basket. He led the Philadelphia 76ers to the 1983 NBA title and was named the series’ Most Valuable Player. He was the league’s MVP three times — 1979, 1982 and ’83.
The relentless Malone scored 27,409 points and grabbed 16,212 rebounds during his NBA career. His tenacity on the backboards resulted in him leading the NBA in rebounding six times — 1978-79 and 1980-85 — and the appropriate title: ‘Chairman of the Boards.’
“It is with a deep sense of sadness that the Sixers family mourns the sudden loss of Moses Malone. It is difficult to express what his contributions to this organization — both as a friend and player — have meant to us, the city of Philadelphia and his faithful fans,” the 76ers said in a statement.
“Moses holds a special place in our hearts and will forever be remembered as a genuine icon and pillar of the most storied era in the history of Philadelphia 76ers basketball. No one person has ever conveyed more with so few words – including three of the most iconic in this city’s history. His generosity, towering personality and incomparable sense of humor will truly be missed. We will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers and as we are once again reminded of the preciousness of life.”
Malone was in Norfolk for the Still Hope Foundation Celebrity Weekend Extravaganza fundraiser. He was scheduled to participate in the Celebrity Golf Classic Sunday morning.
Moses Malone … one of the best basketball players in the history of the sport. Rest in Peace, big man.
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