Remembering Moses Malone

By George Middleton

Moses Malone, who was 60 years old, passed away in his sleep on Sep. 13. Malone will always be remembered as one of the best rebounders in NBA history.

Malone was supposed to spend his collegiate days at Maryland but instead was selected by the Utah Stars in the third round of 1974 ABA Draft, and Malone became the first player to skip college in order to go pro.

He was sold to the Spirits of St. Louis Spirits the following year, then began his NBA career in 1976 with the Houston Rockets. Malone, who spent his first six NBA seasons in Houston, averaged 13.4 points and 13.4 rebounds as an NBA rookie. Malone spent the first six years of his NBA career with the Rockets.

Apr 14, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers former player Moses Malone speaks with the media before game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Wells Fargo Center. The 76ers are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the 1982-83 championship team. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

His best season with the Rockets came in 1981-82 when he racked up 31.1 points and 14.7 rebounds. Malone snatched at least 5.5 offensive rebounds every year in Houston and won two MVP Awards in 1979 and 1982.

After that second MVP honor, Malone signed with the Philadelphia 76ers as a free agent. His first season—where he tallied 24.5 points and 15.3 rebounds—with the 76ers was truly special. Malone won his third MVP award, helped the 76ers win an NBA championship and was named NBA Finals MVP.

Malone spent the three more seasons in Philadelphia, making the NBA All-Star Game in each year.

Between 1986-1994 Malone spent time with the Washington Bullets, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks, and the 76ers again.

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In 1994, Malone signed with the Spurs to back up All-Star David Robinson. Malone played in only 17 games with the Spurs, managing 2.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in less than 9 minutes a game.

Malone retired as a Spurs player. He is fifth in NBA history in rebounds and eighth in points. His 6,731 offensive rebounds are the most in NBA history—and it’s not close. Robert Parish is second in the category with 4,598. Malone was a 12-time NBA All-Star and an 8-time All-NBA Selection.

Malone will go down as one of the great centers in NBA history.

Rest in Peace to a real legend.

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