The Philadelphia 76ers announced today the team will retire the late Moses Malone’s No. 2 in a special halftime ceremony on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 when the 76ers host the Denver Nuggets at 7 p.m. on ESPN, NBC Sports Philadelphia and 97.5 The Fanatic.
Prior to the game, the 76ers will unveil a Malone sculpture on “76ers Legends Walk” at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex in Camden, New Jersey. All fans in attendance at the 76ers-Nuggets game will receive a limited-edition Mitchell & Ness Moses Malone T-shirt.
“Moses Malone is one of the greatest players in NBA history and he left an incredible mark on the 76ers organization and our fans,” said Philadelphia 76ers President of Business Operations Chris Heck. “He was such a pivotal force in the 76ers’ championship run in 1983, where he earned both NBA MVP and NBA Finals MVP honors. He is an NBA icon, a 76ers all-time great and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate his accomplishments by retiring his number and unveiling his sculpture on 76ers Legends Walk in February. Our fans deserve to have this special moment to honor and recognize a player who paved the way for so many future 76ers.”
Malone, a three-time NBA MVP, 13-time All-Star (12 times in NBA, once in ABA), Hall of Fame inductee and member of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, passed away on Sept. 13, 2015 at the age of 60. He was originally acquired by the 76ers in a trade with Houston on Sept. 15, 1982. In his first season with Philadelphia, he posted averages of 24.5 points, a league-best 15.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 37.5 minutes per game as he led the team to a 65-17 regular-season record; the second-most wins in franchise history. Malone famously declared that the 76ers would sweep the postseason by winning four straight games in three consecutive series en route to a championship. “Fo’, fo’, fo’,” Malone said. Philadelphia went 12-1 in 13 playoff games, including a five-game Finals victory over the L.A. Lakers, as it captured its third NBA title and first since 1967. Malone paced the team with playoff averages of 26.0 points and 15.8 rebounds per contest as he earned Finals MVP honors.
“Moses Malone is one of the NBA’s all-time elite players and someone who propelled our organization to great heights,” said Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Elton Brand. “He is a three-time MVP, 13-time All Star, one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, an NBA champion and a worthy Hall of Famer. He embodies what our program is striving to achieve, and he has earned the great honor of having his jersey retired and his sculpture unveiled by the 76ers.”
All told, Malone appeared in 357 games (302 starts) over five seasons with the 76ers, averaging 21.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in 33.1 minutes per game and earning All-Star nods in four straight campaigns from 1982-86. He led the NBA in rebounding six times in his career (three times with Philadelphia) and ranks fifth all-time in league history with 16,212 rebounds, behind only Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Elvin Hayes. Malone was named to the All-NBA Team eight times (First Team four times, Second Team four times) and to the All-Defensive Team twice (First Team once, Second Team once).
A native of Petersburg, Virginia, Malone entered the ABA directly following his high school career at the age of 19. He played one season with the Utah Stars and a second with the Spirits of St. Louis before the ABA-NBA merger. Selected by the Portland Trail Blazers in the dispersal draft of August 1976, he was traded to Buffalo. In 1,329 games (784 starts) with Buffalo, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Milwaukee and San Antonio, Malone posted 20.6 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. He’s one of seven players all-time to average at least 20.0 points and 12.0 rebounds, joining Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor, Walt Bellamy, Chamberlain, Hayes, George Mikan and Bob Pettit.
Malone will join Allen Iverson (3), Dolph Schayes (4), Julius Erving (6), Maurice Cheeks (10), Wilt Chamberlain (13), Hal Greer (15), Bobby Jones (24), Billy Cunningham (32) and Charles Barkley (34) as players with their numbers retired, along with legendary public address announcer Dave Zinkoff (microphone).
The sculpture will be the first of two revealed this season. Malone will join Erving, Jones, Cheeks, Greer, Cunningham and Chamberlain as he takes his rightful place on 76ers Legends Walk at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex.