Ferocious rebounder Malone dies at 60
By BRIAN MAHONEY
AP Basketball Writer
Moses Malone devoured rebounds so easily it sometimes seemed he missed shots on purpose to pad his total before scoring.
All those points and rebounds made Malone an NBA great.
A few words, and one championship, made him a Philadelphia sports icon.
Malone, a three-time NBA MVP and one of basketball’s most ferocious rebounders, died Sunday in Norfolk, Virginia, where was scheduled to appear at a charity golf event. He was 60.
Malone had just attended this weekend’s enshrinement ceremonies at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Nicknamed the “Chairman of the Boards,” Malone was inducted himself in 2001 and remains in the NBA’s top 10 in career scoring and rebounding.
“With three MVPs and an NBA championship, he was among the most dominant centers ever to play the game and one of the best players in the history of the NBA and the ABA,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
Norfolk police said Malone was found unresponsive and not breathing in his room by hotel staff shortly before 8 a.m. Norfolk Fire Rescue responded and pronounced Malone dead at the scene. A cause of death has not been determined.
A 6-foot-10 center who was the first to make the leap right from high school to the pros, Malone is the NBA’s career leader in offensive rebounds and led the league in rebounds per game for five straight seasons from 1980-85.
Malone led the 76ers to the 1983 NBA championship team, and the club said he will “forever be remembered as a genuine icon and pillar of the most storied era in the history of Philadelphia 76ers basketball.”
That was Malone’s lone title, helping Julius Erving and the 76ers get to the top in his first season after arriving in a trade with Houston. He won his third MVP award that season and made his famed “Fo’, Fo’, Fo’,” prediction that the Sixers would win all their playoff series in four-game sweeps.
“No one person has ever conveyed more with so few words — including three of the most iconic in this city’s history,” 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil said. “His generosity, towering personality and incomparable sense of humor will truly be missed.”