Life isn’t without tragedies, and this one came in as another shocker. Former NBA star, legendary Moses Malone (March 23, 1955 – September 13, 2015) has passed away at the age of 60.
Three-time NBA MVP Malone died Sunday in Norfolk, Virginia. Det. Jeffrey Scott of the Norfolk Police Department confirmed that Malone died in a Norfolk hotel room. He said there was no indication of foul play. Malone’s body was discovered when he failed to report to a celebrity golf tournament in which he was scheduled to play, ESPN reported.
One of the NBA’s 50 greatest players of all-time, Malone was the NBA Finals MVP in 1983 when he and Julius Erving led the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA Championship. Always accessible to his fellow Members, Malone was a mainstay at NBRPA (National Basketball Retired Players Association) events and was honored in August for his service to the organization.
“The NBRPA is deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and brother, Moses Malone,” said Chairman of the Board Thurl Bailey. “Moses was an incredible player, but an even better friend to all of us here at the NBRPA. We will miss his laugh, smile, enthusiasm and dedication toward making the world a better place for former players. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family.”
Malone played both in ABA and NBA. He was a 3-time NBA MVP and one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players in history. Malone was the most successful prep-to-pro player of his era, going straight from Petersburg High to a 21-year career in professional basketball.
By the time Malone retired after 19 seasons in the NBA he was the last former ABA player active and held numerous distinctions in both leagues, including a championship ring and NBA finals trophy won with the 1983 Philadelphia 76ers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001. Malone holds career ABA averages of 17.2 ppg and 12.9 rpg in 126 games. In the NBA, Malone played 1329 games, averaging 20.6 ppg, 12.2 rpg.
“I was shocked. Moses was one of the best people that I had ever met. … A true professional, on and off the court,” said John Lucas, Malone’s former teammate. “Moses Malone,I will miss you no we all will miss you.”
Malone’s death comes shortly after the passing after another 76ers center, Darryl Dawkins.
Allen Iverson, the retired 76ers star sent his condolences regarding Malone’s passing: “My condolences to the family and friends of Moses Malone. You will truly be missed. Rest in peace Big Mo!!!”
Former NBA star, Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, who played briefly with Malone in Philadelphia,
Barkley, a TNT analyst, said that the man he called “dad”, has passed away.
“Words can’t explain my sadness. I will never know why a Hall of Famer took a fat, lazy kid from Auburn and treated him like a son and got him in shape and made him a player,” said Barkley. “Every time I saw him I called him ‘Dad.’ I hope he knew how much I appreciated and loved him.”
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