In a world of ever-evolving basketball narratives, where debates over eras and players rage on, the legacy of Moses Malone, a dominant figure in the history of the game, has been quietly and unjustly overshadowed by the passage of time
The center position might be one of the most heralded in the history of basketball. So many of the greats played the position and those players have helped to define the history of basketball as we know it today. The list of great centers is so vast that if you were to play a game with a basketball fan to name the 10 greatest players at each position, I would wager that they could come up with 10 great centers the fastest. And while we have had books and written and movies filmed about greats like Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal, and Bill Russell there is a great center that is one of the best that the game has ever seen whose name is constantly overlooked. His name was Moses Malone.
We recently passed the 8 year anniversary of Malone’s untimely passing at 60 years of age as a result of heart disease. As I look at the conversations around the great NBA players on social media and other circles, I consistently notice that his name is absent. Moses was a trailblazer, a master of the center position in his era, and a deliverer of one of the most iconic predictions in NBA history. As we pass another anniversary of his death, it is important to remember just how great he was and perhaps learn a little more about ourselves and why we have decided to forget that greatness.
The Resume Speaks for Itself
Malone played for a remarkable 21 years in professional basketball between the ABA and NBA (Malone was drafted into the ABA two years before it merged with the NBA). That is especially impressive when you consider that the average NBA career when he was drafted in 1975 was just under 5 years, a number that has continued to rise in the modern era. The later years of his career can simply be attributed to an older player just hanging on to a roster spot, but even at age 36 in 1992 Malone averaged a respectable 15 points…