Moses Malone, the NBA Hall of Famer whose legacy lives on in the multiple basketball records to his name, died in his sleep at a Norfolk, Virginia, hotel where he was to appear at a celebrity golf tournament on Sunday.
Malone, 60, was a three-time NBA most valuable player who was the first high schooler to make the jump directly to the professional ranks. He led the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA title in 1983 in dominating fashion, with the team winning all but one of its playoff series games, CBS Sports reported.
Before that championship, he led the underdog Houston Rockets to the NBA finals in 1981 and, the following year, had one of the best individual seasons for a player, averaging 31.1 points and 14.7 rebounds per game, according to NBA.com
Malone retired from the NBA after the 1994-95 season with 27,409 points and 16,212 rebounds over 19 seasons. His scoring ranks sixth on the all-time list behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain, Michael Jordan, and Julius Erving.
"It is with a deep sense of sadness that the Sixers family mourns the sudden loss of Moses Malone," the Philadelphia 76ers said in a statement.
"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."
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," the statement continued.
The Houston Rockets also issued a statement
on Malone's passing.
"Moses was a true gentleman and one of the great Rockets — and greatest NBA players — of all time," the Rockets said. "He will be forever missed. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends."
In 1996, Malone was voted one of the NBA's 50 greatest players of all time.
"Known to his legions of fans as the 'Chairman of the Boards,' Moses competed with intensity every time he stepped on the court," said NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a statement. "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."
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