“Ya’ll want a job, but you don’t wanna work.” – Moses Malone
There’s been a lot of looking back after Moses Malone passed away from cardiovascular disease on Sept. 13 at the too-soon age of 60. The three-time MVP is perhaps the greatest rebounder in the history of the game, and the original forebearer of the high school to pro jump that’s now banned in the NBA. Despite going directly from high school to the ABA, Malone had an old school work ethic, something Charles Barkley understood when Malone bluntly told him why he was struggling as a 76ers rookie in 1984.
“Well little fella, you’re fat and you’re lazy.” Their relationship grew closer than ever after that. Barkley recalled many lessons he learned from Malone during his nearly 10-minute eulogy on Saturday at the Lakewood Church in Houston.
“He helped everybody. From the rookies on, he treated everybody great,” Barkley said. “He was a wonderful man. It was an honor for me to do the eulogy.”
Houston was Malone’s adopted hometown, where he won two of his three MVPs before his trade to Philadelphia, where he promptly won his third MVP And led them to the NBA Title in 1983. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, more than 1200 people came out for the funeral services on Saturday, but Barkley wasn’t the only former teammate to attend.
Chuck was joined by Malone’s former Rockets teammates Rudy Tomjanovich, Calvin Murphy, John Lucas and Major Jones, as well as Julius Erving and Maurice Cheeks, who won the title with Malone in Philadelphia.
Former NBA greats, Dominique Wilkins, Ralph Sampson, Clyde Drexler, George Gervin, Artis Gilmore, Alex English and Tracy McGrady were also in attendance to pay their respects to one of the titans of the game.
Moses is survived by his sons, Moses Malone, Jr., Michael Earl and Micah, as well as a granddaughter, Mia.