According to ESPN, Three-time NBA MVP and Pro Basketball Hall of Famer Moses Malone died Sunday at the age of 60. Malone, named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players, was the Finals MVP in 1983, as he led the Philadelphia 76ers to the title.
"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 Sunday. "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." The 6-foot-10 center, nicknamed the "Chairman of the Boards," averaged a double-double while playing for eight teams over 20 NBA seasons and led the league in rebounding six times. The 12-time All-Star averaged 20.6 points per game and 12.2 rebounds over his career.
His 16,212 rebounds still rank fifth on the NBA's all-time list, while his 27,409 career points rank eighth. "When I talked to his son (Moses Malone Jr.) this morning, he couldn't get it out," former Houston Rockets teammate John Lucas told ESPN. "I kept saying, 'What are you saying?' And he told me. ... I was shocked. Moses was one of the best people that I had ever met." Moses Malone Jr. told Fox 26 Houston that his father was his "best friend."
"He taught us so much about life. He came from nothing," Malone Jr. said. "He taught us how to work hard and respect people, love your family and always do the right thing. He's a good person. He was always there to help people. He cared about people who had less than him."
Malone was the first player to go pro right out of high school, signing with the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association in 1974. He played the following season for the Spirits of St. Louis before moving to the Buffalo Braves after the ABA-NBA merger in 1976.
He also played for the Rockets, 76ers (twice), Washington Bullets, Atlanta Hawks and the San Antonio Spurs, with whom he finished his career during the 1994-95 season. His No. 24 was retired by the Rockets, with whom he won the MVP in 1979 and 1982. He won his third MVP with the 76ers in 1983. "Everyone in the organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Moses Malone," Rockets owner Leslie Alexander said in a statement. "Moses was a true gentleman and one of the great Rockets and greatest NBA players, of all time. He will be forever missed. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends." Malone was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2001.
Sidebar: RIP Moses Malone