Former NBA great Moses Malone has died in his sleep in Norfolk, Va. He was 60.
According to the Associated Press, Malone’s body was discovered when he failed to report to a celebrity golf tournament in which he was scheduled to play.
“We are stunned and deeply saddened by the passing of Hall of Famer Moses Malone, an NBA legend gone far too soon,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “Known to his legions of fans as the ‘Chairman of the Boards,’ Moses competed with intensity every time he stepped on the court.
“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. Even more than his prodigious talent, we will miss his friendship, his generosity, his exuberant personality, and the extraordinary work ethic he brought to the game throughout his 21-year pro career. Our thoughts are with Moses’ family and friends during this difficult time.”
Malone committed to the University of Maryland, but was drafted by the Utah Stars of the ABA in 1974 and decided to go pro. The 6-10 center played a season with the Stars, a season with the Sprits of St. Louis before coming to the NBA in 1976.
A member of the Hall of Fame, Malone was named one of the 50 greatest NBA players in 1996.
He was named NBA MVP in 1978-79, 1981-82 and 1982-83.
Malone played for five seasons with the Houston Rockets before joining thePhiladelphia 76ers in 1982. Teamed with Julius Erving, the Sixers won the 1982-83 NBA championship. Malone averaged 31.9 points and 12.8 rebounds during the playoff run.
“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,” Philadelphia 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil said in a statement. “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.”