NBA Hall of Famer Moses Malone died on Sunday at age 60. The Philadelphia 76ers confirmed the “passing of a legend” in a statement commending the superstar for his contributions to the city and basketball.
The three-time NBA MVP averaged 20.6 points and 12.2 rebounds per game over his 21 seasons playing professional basketball. He was also named the Finals MVP in 1983 while playing with the 76ers, who won the league championship that year.
“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,” the 76ers said in a statement on Sunday.
Malone went pro when he was just 19 years old — the first person to join professional basketball right out of high school — playing as a forward and then center for ABA team the Utah Stars. After two seasons, he made the jump to the NBA, where he scored 27,409 points and snagged 16,212 rebounds over the next 19 years.
The 6-foot-10 center, nicknamed the “Chairman of the Boards,” was chosen as one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players of all time in 1996. He was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2001.
News of Malone’s death, first reported by ESPN early Sunday, sparked an outpouring of love and remembrance for the player, including this touching tribute from the 76ers.