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You Tube Gold: Moses Malone

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An overlooked NBA legend

Malone dribbles
 LOS ANGELES - MAY 29: Moses Malone #2 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles against Magic Johnson #32 and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar #33 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1983 NBA Finals at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, California. 
Photo by Jim Cummins/NBAE via Getty Images

We’ve talked a bit lately about Bill Walton’s time in the NBA. His Portland Trailblazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers for the NBA championship in 1977 and the general sense was that Portland won because it played better team ball (Walton certainly thought so).

By 1983, Philly had taken care of that.

From the 1977 team, only Julius Erving was left (among the players who were no longer with Philly: Mike Dunleavy and Doug Collins, who would both later send sons to Duke).

In 1983, Philly still had Erving but also a backcourt of Maurice Cheeks and Andrew Toney and paired Erving with Bobby Jones.

And they also had center Moses Malone.

Malone had originally committed to Maryland and Lefty Driesell before opting to jump to the ABA in 1974. You can’t understate the loss to Maryland. He would have made them incredibly dominant. He came to Philly in 1982 as a free agent and made Philly great.

In 1983, the 76ers only lost one playoff game.

Malone finished his NBA career as one of the great rebounders of all time, a superb defender and one of the hardest workers in NBA history.

Philly’s championship team is a bit overshadowed by the rising rivalry between Larry Bird’s Celtics and Magic Johnson’s Lakers, but that was a great team and Malone was incredible.