This is not a surprise, but it is now going to be official. The Philadelphia 76ers will retire the number 2 in honor of Moses Malone.
Elton and Moses pic.twitter.com/X01OrZCGd1— J Blevins (@JBlevinsPFO) February 8, 2019
It is hard to overstate the impact that Moses Malone had on the NBA. It’s even hard to describe what he meant to the Philadelphia 76ers. His dominance on the interior was a perfect compliment to Maurice Cheeks and Dr. J.
Moses was a 6’10” big man who dominated at the Power Forward and Center positions.
On Friday, Moses was enshrined in the 76ers Legends Walk with a statue in his honor. Dr. J, Allen Iverson, and former teammates and family of Malone were on hand for the ceremony.
“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.”
“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.” – Chris Heck – President of Business Operations
Per Basketball Reference, Malone is the only 76er to ever wear the number 2. Prior to him joining the team, no one had worn the #2. Once his playing career was finished, there was little doubt that his number would be held in reserve. Malone entered the NBA in 1974 at age 19 and retired in 1994 at age 39.
In five seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, Malone posted a line of 21 points and 12 rebounds per game. He will be the 10th player to have a number retired by the team.
Joel Embiid would do well to join Malone and Chamberlain in the pantheon of Sixers all time great big men.
PFO Q&A With Brett Brown
J. Blevins: Is Moses the type of player you would talk to someone like Joel about? As far as this being the final accomplishment: getting your number retired, hall of famer, having a legacy in the city. Is that something you talk to Joel about?
Brett Brown: We always go there. We always go there, I’ve had a chance to put him in front of a bunch of people, from Kevin Garnett to Tim Duncan to Kevin McHale. He’s been in front of a lot of great players, hall of fame players. When you can do that, you try to do that to help him.
Joel is very respectful of history. I think people don’t always understand. We read it, but to comprehend and digest the fact he started playing when he was 16 years old, so he’s had a history. We all grow up here and understand those names like Moses. He really doesn’t. It’s not his fault given his background and newness to the sport.
So I think he sees those people and understands the history with it, perhaps a greater level of respect. I think when you can share those types of stories or put him around the people I just mentioned you always feel good. You feel like you’re helping him