The late Moses Malone’s No. 2 jersey number will soon hang from the Wells Fargo Center rafters.
The 76ers will retire the Hall of Famer’s jersey during a halftime ceremony when they host the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 8. The team will also unveil a Malone sculpture on “76ers Legends Walk” at its practice facility in Camden before the game. And fans in attendance at the contest will receive Moses Malone T-shirts.
“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 Chris Heck, the Sixers president of business operations.
The Hall of Famer had two stints with the Sixers. The team first acquired him on Sept. 15, 1982, in a trade with the Houston Rockets.
Malone made an immediate impact. The center averaged 24.5 points, a league-leading 15.3 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks and teamed up with Julius Erving to lead the Sixers the 1982-83 NBA title. He finished that season with his second straight and third league MVP honor. He also was named the NBA Finals MVP.
Following the 1985-86 season, the Sixers traded the 13-time all-star (12 NBA and once in the ABA) to the Washington Bullets. He went on to have stints with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks before returning to the Sixers in August 1993 to mentor 7-foot-6 center Shawn Bradley. He played in 55 games during the 1993-94 season as Bradley’s backup before concluding his career the following season with the San Antonio Spurs.
Malone, who died on Sept. 13, 2015, at the age of 60, was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history in 1996.
But in Philly, he will forever be remembered as a Sixers great. He averaged 21.0 points, 12.0 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks and earned four straight all-star selections during his five seasons here. He also won three of his six rebounding titles as a Sixer.
“Moses Malone is one of the NBA’s all-time elite players and someone who propelled our organization to great heights,” general manager Elton Brand said.
The Petersburg, Va., native entered the ABA immediately after his high school career at the age of 19. After playing one season for the Utah Stars, he spent his second with the Spirits of St. Louis before the ABA-NBA merger.
Malone will join former teammates Erving (No. 6), Maurice Cheeks (10), Bobby Jones (24), and Charles Barkley (34) along with Allen Iverson (3), Dolph Schayes (4), Wilt Chamberlain (13), Hal Greer (15), and Billy Cunningham (32) as former Sixers with their numbers retired.