We dedicate today’s entry in Sneaker History to Moses Malone. Three years ago today Moses sadly passed at the young age of 60 in his sleep. The native Virginian was a tenacious basketball player with elite size and strength for his era. Moses was one of the few players to enjoy success in both the ABA and NBA with his most successful seasons coming in the NBA. With career averages of 20 PPG and 12 RPG Malone was a classic 20 & 10 center; he did this while having to guard the likes of Kareem Abdul Jabar. With the ability to dominate on both ends of the court Malone once earned All-NBA 1st Team honors in both offense and defense during the 1983 season. 1983 would prove to be a great year for Moses because he finally succeeded in winning an NBA Championship. For years Moses and the Rockets were contenders but never winners, but during his first season with the 76ers he tipped the team over the edge in route to hoisting the NBA Finals MVP.
Not only did Moses win his first championship, but he also won his third league MVP Award (’79, ’82, ’83). The accolades piled up throughout Malone’s career, he was a x12 All-Star (’75 ABA All-Star) and x6 Rebound leader (1979, 1981–1985).
Again in 1983 Moses spoke the famous phrase, “Fo’ Fo’ Fo'” declaring a sweep of Playoffs in an interview. It would later be modified to “Fo’ ‘Fi’ Fo'” because the Bucks won Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals but still, it’s impressive his team go that close to his proclamation.
In 1982 Nike introduced a game changing basketball shoe, the Air Force 1. The technologically advanced (at the time) kicks were the first to feature internal Air cushioning. Moses was part of the “Original 6”, the iconic Nike advertisement that featured NBA Stars:
This “Air Force” is affectionately remembered as one of the greatest shoe advertisements of all time and Moses would continue to be a key endorser of Nike Basketball. Pay your respects to Moses Malone today in whatever way you deem fitting and enjoy some pics of him in his heyday.
Stats: 28 points, 19 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals (8 offensive rebounds)
Game: 5/29/1983 vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Stats: 51 points, 17 rebounds
Game: 11/14/1984 vs. Detroit Pistons