DaveO Posted September 20, 2015 Share Posted September 20, 2015 Moses Malone passed away last week in his sleep at age sixty and was buried yesterday in Houston. Charles Barkley, an ex teammate was asked by the family to give the eulogy and did so in a moving story, evidently so true to the many basketball players tha knew him. A portion of the eulogy can be seen here. Malone mentored Barkley, pushing goading and training with him to get Barkley to shed weight and become the player he ultimately did. Malone is one of the all time greats. He ranks very highly among NBA stars for a significant number of career achievements including: points 7th games 5th minutes 6th rebounds 3rd offensive rebounds 1st (the nba doesn't have stats on this for Russel or Chamberlain) free throws 2nd In many lists of the greatest NBA players Moses usually ranks somewhere between 12 and 20th. Locally Moses played two years for the Bullets in the mid '80's. During those years the Bullets made the playoffs, probably mostly because of Moses. He picked up the mantle from Wes Unseld, as the fundamentally powerful center that dramatically improved the team, mostly doing it in ways that were neither exciting or breathtaking, but key to great basketball. Where he was great was at being relentless on the boards and specifically the offensive boards. Between his rebounding and shooting he drew an incredible number of fouls. On that basis he knew he could compete with any center in history, as he knew he could draw fouls on them. While he doesn't shine as one of the most exciting players one can see this relentlessness feature in old videos of Moses circa 1978-1984 when he was probably the best center in the game, (having surpassed Jabbar). You'll see Moses on the boards, rebounding scoring, and getting defenders to foul him. In an NBA championship series against the Celtics, before Moses was traded to the 76ers Moses had the Celtics big men (Parish and McHale) in constant foul trouble and made a seeming mismatch into a competitive series. Moses played 2 years for the Bullets, during which I got to watch him a good bit, and before that he played for the 76ers in the same division, thus playing quite a few games at the old Cap Center. Again I was privileged to see him play. He simply dominated in the middle, always with a relentless style on the boards and with short simple shots around the basket. He might well have been the least spectacular NBA star playing at such a high level, that simply added to his team's strength, while not pulling the ball or attention from other players. That might have been his greatest asset to the team game. During his hey day he was a 3 time NBA MVP...clearly being identified as having a dominant stretch probably from his mid 20's to the time he hit 30. According to Bill Simmons in his epic book about the NBA, The Book of Basketball, per Simmons after watching endless old tapes of the NBA, Moses invented the Ass Attack. While on offense and ostensibly being boxed out, Moses would circle around, go out of bounds, come back in under the basket and ass shove any defensive player out of his way to grab offensive rebounds. Did he do that?? I don't know. Haven't watched the tapes. But boy if I were a coach of a big galoot without offensive skills I'd do what Simmons claimed he did and watch old tapes of Malone. If Moses did do that, its pure basketball genius and I'd coach up any monster tall man to replicate that strategy. Big Mo', a solid super star with a dominant streak and one who played locally albeit for two years. An all time great. 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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