Jeffrey Breault | 76ers Retires Moses Malone Number
When the Philadelphia 76ers goes against the Denver Nuggets on February 8, they will take pause to honor one of NBA’s greatest players of all time and the 76ers’ pride, Moses Malone. Loyal fan Jeffrey Breault will be at the Wells Fargo Center on that day to pay tribute to the big man who came to be known as the “Chairman of the Boards.”
But before that day comes, Jeffrey Breault would like to give his personal tribute to the man who led the 76ers to a championship title in 1983. Through this post, in his own way, he would like to honor the man that was Moses Malone.
From high school basketball to the professional league
Not many people know that Moses Malone was drafted to the professional league straight out of high school (although he did sign a letter of intent to play for the University of Maryland, which came to naught). He went to Petersburg High School for which he played basketball. During his last two years with the school’s basketball team, the Crimson Wave, they were undefeated, shares Jeffrey Breault.
In 1974, during the year’s ABA Draft, Malone was selected by the Utah Stars and thus began his career in professional basketball. At the time, he was a little on the lean side, so he had to contend with playing forward initially until he had enough bulk to play center.
Also at the time, he made history as being the only straight-out-of-high-school kid to make it to the pros. This little bit of fact is something that loyal fans like Jeffrey Breault would always boast about whenever talk of basketball comes up.
His rookie years were marked by two accolades: ABA All-Star and ABA All-Rookie.
In a kind of sorry twist of events, the Utah Stars folded during the 1975-76 season, and Malone was “sold” to the Spirits of St. Louis to offset some of the Stars’ debts. For the remainder of the season, Malone played for the Spirits of St. Louis.
Malone’s first stint with the NBA occurred with the merging of the ABA and NBA. He first played for the Buffalo Braves in 1976, but only for two games as he was traded to the Houston Rockets after the season when they couldn’t meet Malone’s demand for more playing time.
The Chairman of the Boards
Malone’s career at the NBA was remarkable for a number of things, but his rebounding prowess was what many consider to be his game-changing skill. When he was playing for the Rockets, he made history by making a record 437 offensive rebounds in one season (an NBA record at the time). He would beat his record a few more times. In basketball, shares Jeffrey Breault, a rebound is also known as a “board,” hence the “Chairman of the Boards” title.
During the 1981-82 season, when the Rockets changed ownership, Malone became a restricted free agent. The new owners of the Rockets felt they couldn’t afford Malone and so he was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, a move that would prove to be serendipitous for Malone, says Jeffrey Breault, because during the 1983 season, the 76ers won the NBA championship finals.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post.