Hall of Fame center Moses Malone died on Sunday morning. He was 60 years old. From the Philadelphia 76ers:
“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. 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 “three of the most iconic in this city’s history” part refers to “fo, fo, fo” — Malone famously and succinctly predicted that Philadelphia would sweep each round of the playoffs in 1983. He was just off — the Sixers lost one game in the postseason.
Malone was found in bed on Sunday, per Howard Eskin of Fox 29 Philadelphia. He died in his sleep in Norfolk, VA, former Houston Rockets teammate and close friend Calvin Murphy told Fox 26 Houston’s Mark Berman. The two of them were going to play in a golf tournament.
The NBA issued a statement from commissioner Adam Silver:
We are stunned and deeply saddened by the passing of Hall of Famer Moses Malone, an NBA legend gone far too soon. 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 was MVP of the NBA three times and won Finals MVP when the Philadelphia 76ers swept the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA title in 1983. He was named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players in 1996, and he averaged 20.6 points and 12.2 rebounds per game in the NBA. He was an NBA All-Star 12 years in a row.