Moses Malone Biography

Moses Malone is a retired power forward/center who played in the NBA for the Buffalo Braves, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Bullets, Atlanta Hawks, Milwaukee Bucks and San Antonio Spurs. During his 21-year career (two in the ABA, 19 in the NBA), he won an NBA title, was a three-time MVP, eight-time All-NBA selection and 12-time All-Star. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 and is a member of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

The prep-to-pro standout was a six-time rebounding champion, holds the NBA record by playing 1,212 straight games without fouling out and finished his career with 27,409 points and 16,212 rebounds (NBA record 6,731 offensive boards).

Early Years

Malone guided Petersburg High School to 50 wins in a row and the 1973 and 1974 Virginia state championship.

Professional Career

American Basketball Association

After agreeing to play collegiately at the University of Maryland, Malone became the first player to go straight from high school to the pros when he changed his mind and signed with the Utah Stars of the American Basketball Association.

He averaged 18 points and 14 rebounds as a rookie. He also played with the Spirits of St. Louis and finished his two years in the ABA with averages of 17.2 points and 12.9 rebounds per game.

Buffalo Braves (1976)

The ABA-NBA merger took place in June of 1976 and the Portland Trail Blazers selected Malone with the fifth pick of the ABA Dispersal Draft. The Blazers traded him to the Buffalo Braves before the 1976-77 season and after just two games with the Braves, he was traded to the Houston Rockets.

Houston Rockets (1976-82)

Malone averaged 13.2 points and 13.1 rebounds in his first NBA season. During the playoffs, he upped those averages to 18.8 and 16.9 to lead the Rockets to the conference finals.

In his third season with the Rockets, he averaged 24.8 points, 17.6 rebounds and shot 54 percent from the floor. He was selected as an All-Star and chosen as the NBA MVP. That season he set a career high with 37 rebounds against the Jazz.

Malone consistently ranked amongst the league leaders in points, rebounds, shooting percentage and minutes played. He averaged 27.8 points and 14.8 rebounds to lead Houston to the 1980-81 NBA Finals and in 1981-82, he averaged 31.1 points and 14.7 rebounds and was rewarded by being selected league MVP -- again.

Philadelphia 76ers (1982-86)

Malone was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers before the 1982-83 season. In Philly, he teamed with Julius Erving to lead the Sixers to a four-game sweep of the Lakers at the NBA Finals. Prior to the postseason, Malone famously declared that the Sixers would go "fo', fo', fo'", meaning they would sweep each round of the playoffs. They nearly pulled off the unprecedented feat, losing one game in the conference finals, and finishing the postseason with a 12-1 record, including a sweep of the defending champion Lakers in the NBA Finals. Malone was chosen as the league MVP for the third time in his career and he also took home his only Finals MVP.

Malone is the only NBA player to win back-to-back MVP awards with two different teams.

The next season, Malone's numbers dipped slightly, but he led the NBA in rebounding for the fourth consecutive season. However, the 76ers were upset by the New Jersey Nets in the first round of the playoffs, prematurly ending their title defense.

Malone averaged 13.1 rebounds per game during the 1984-85 season to become the first player to lead the league in rebounding five straight seasons. The team added rookie Charles Barkley to their already-strong frontcourt of Erving and Malone, who started 79 games and ranked in the top 10 in the NBA in scoring. However, despite Malone's strong play, the 76ers were knocked off in the conference finals by the Boston Celtics.

The next season, Malone again finished in the top 10 in scoring, but failed to lead the NBA in rebounding for the first time since the 1979-80 season. However, Malone's season was cut short by an eye injury, forcing him to miss the playoffs. Without Malone, the 76ers got past the Washington Bullets, but were knocked out by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round, marking the end of Malone's first stint in Philadelphia.

Washington Bullets (1986-88)

In the offseason in 1986, Malone was traded to the Washington Bullets, along with Terry Catledge and a pair of first-round draft choices, in exchange for Jeff Ruland and Cliff Robinson. While Ruland played just five games the next season for the 76ers, Malone averaged 24.1 points and 11.3 rebounds and extended his streak of making the All-Star Game to 10 for the Bullets. In his two seasons in Washington, Malone led the team to the postseason each time, though they failed to get past the first round in both 1987 and 1988. After the season, Malone left Washington as a free agent. The Bullets would not return to the postseason for the next eight seasons.

Atlanta Hawks (1988-91)

Malone signed with the Atlanta Hawks as a free agent prior to the 1988-89 season and once again put up All-Star numbers, averaging 20.2 points and 11.8 rebounds.

His numbers dipped to 18.9 and 10 during his second season with the Hawks -- ending a string of 11 straight seasons of averaging at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Milwaukee Bucks (1991-93)

After averaging career lows in points (10.6), rebounds (8.1) and minutes played (23.3), Malone signed with the Milwaukee Bucks. He averaged 15.6 points and 9.1 boards while playing in all 82 games for the 31-51 Bucks, but appeared in only 11 games while recovering from back surgery the following season.

Philadelphia 76ers (1993-94)

Malone was brought back to Philadelphia as a free agent. He and Ruland, who was serving as a 76ers assistant coach, served as tutors to rookie center Shawn Bradley. Malone played 55 games as a reserve, averaging 5.3 PPG and 4.1 RPG.

San Antonio Spurs (1994-95)

Malone signed as a free agent with the San Antonio Spurs, to serve as a backup to David Robinson. However, he played just 17 games with the San Antonio Spurs before rupturing a tendon in his right leg and going on the injured list.

Post-Playing Career

One year after retiring, Malone was named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players, in conjuction with the NBA's 50th Anniversary. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001.

In 1998, the Rockets retired Malone's No. 24 jersey. The 76ers have not officially retired Malone's No. 2, but no player has worn it since Malone last played for the team.

In 2006, the 76ers hired Malone as an assistant coach. He primarily worked with the team's big men, including Samuel Dalembert. Malone has also served in the 76ers front office.


Moses Malone was born March 23, 1955 in Petersburg, Va. He married Alfreda (divorced) and has two sons, Michael and Moses, Jr.

Michael Malone played college football at Sam Houston State and was briefly a member of the Miami Dolphins.