Moses Malone was one of the great players of his era. His accomplishments include an NBA championship in 1983 and three MVP awards, and he also had his jersey retired by the Houston Rockets. Now, Malone has another accomplishment: on Friday, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that they, too, are retiring Malone’s jersey.
Malone started his NBA career with the Buffalo Braves. He was a part of the 1976 ABA Dispersal Draft, which took place during the ABA-NBA merger. The Portland Trailblazers selected him with the fifth pick, but ultimately traded him to the Buffalo Braves, who, in turn, traded Malone to the Houston Rockets after two games. Malone established himself in the NBA during his time with the Rockets, with whom he played for six years.
With the Rockets, Malone won two MVP awards: the MVP in 1979 and 1982. Then, he won another MVP in 1983, but this time with the Philadelphia 76ers.
After the 1981-1982 season, Malone became a restricted free agent. He signed an offer sheet with the 76ers for six years. The Rockets matched the offer, but traded him to the Sixers. Malone joined Julius “Dr. J” Erving in Philadelphia, and they helped the Sixers win a championship in 1983.
Malone played three more seasons with the Sixers, who then traded him to the Washington Bullets after the 1985-1986 season. Then, he went on to play with the Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and the San Antonio Spurs. He also returned to the Sixers between the Bucks and Spurs.
The Sixers will retire Malone’s jersey on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, when they play the Denver Nuggets. The Sixers will also unveil a Malone sculpture at the Sixers Training Complex in Camden, New Jersey.
Malone died in 2015 at the age of 60. His cause of death was listed as hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Although Malone cannot enjoy the honor, his family, fans and friends alike can honor his legacy. Malone was a skilled player and his jersey deserves to be retired.