Photo credits: The Associated Press
Moses Malone was born in Petersburg, Virginia, on March 23, 1955. Malone was regarded as one of the greatest professional athletes of all time, even after his death on September 13, 2015.
From 1974 until 1995, he was a member of the American Basketball Association (ABA) and the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was a three-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), a 12-time NBA All-Star, and an eight-time All-NBA Team selection as a center. In 1983, Malone led the Philadelphia 76ers to an NBA title, capturing both the league and Finals MVP awards. In his first year of eligibility, in 2001, he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Malone is widely considered one of the best players in NBA history, but he is also regarded as one of the most underappreciated.
Malone started his professional career after being picked by the Utah Stars in the third round of the 1974 ABA draft. As a rookie, he was chosen to the ABA All-Star team and went on to play two seasons in the league until it merged with the NBA in 1976. He made his NBA debut with the Buffalo Braves, who moved him to the Houston Rockets after two games. In six seasons with the Rockets, Malone became a five-time All-Star. In 1979, he was crowned NBA MVP for the first time after leading the league in rebounds.
In 1981, he led the Rockets to the NBA Finals, and in 1982, he earned his second MVP title. The next season, he was traded to Philadelphia, where he won MVP again and led the 76ers to the 1983 title. He was an All-Star in each of his four seasons with Philadelphia in his first of two stints with the team. Malone was an All-Star in his just two seasons with the Washington Bullets (today’s Wizards) after another trade. In his debut season, he signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Hawks, earning his 12th and last NBA All-Star berth. Before returning to the 76ers, he played for the Milwaukee Bucks in his latter years. He finished his career with the Spurs in San Antonio.
Malone was a tenacious and muscular defender who led the NBA in rebounding six times, including a then-record five consecutive seasons (1981–1985). For his rebounding prowess, he earned the nickname “Chairman of the Boards,” and he concluded his career as the all-time leader in offensive rebounds, having led the ABA and NBA in the category nine times. Malone is eighth all-time in career points (29,580) and third in total rebounds when his ABA and NBA numbers are combined (17,834).
Along with the NBA’s 50th and 75th-anniversary teams, he was chosen to the ABA All-Time Team.