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4/8/1987: Moses Malone gets 50

On this day 33 years ago, Moses Malone had his last 50-point game of his career against the Nets while playing for the Washington Bullets.

Malone is perhaps the least-remembered all-time great, so here’s a quick catch up. He:

  • Was famous for skipping college and heading right to the ABA’s Utah Stars, which angered a great many folk in the NCAA. 

  • Made 13 All-Star teams.

  • Won three NBA MVPs, one of eight players to win three-plus. 

  • Won the 1983 NBA title as the 76ers’ best player, famously predicting the team’s playoff run would go “fo, fo, fo.” (Translation: Four-game sweep, four-game sweep, four-game sweep.) The 76ers ended up going 12-1 in the postseason. 

  • Scored 29,580 career points (27,409 in the NBA). 

Malone isn’t so well-known in 2020 for a few reasons:

  • He is often confused for/overshadowed by the other more modern NBA great, Karl Malone. 

  • He was a relentless rebounder and paint scorer, but not very flashy. 

  • He bounced around pro basketball rather than belonging to one team; he played for Utah (ABA), St. Louis (ABA), Buffalo (NBA), Houston, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia (again), and, finally, San Antonio, as a washed-up 39-year old. 

Malone died in 2015, which prompted this great obit from Chuck Klosterman.


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