Two of the greatest Philadelphia Sixers players of all time, Darryl Dawkins and Moses Malone, passed away on August 27 and September 13 respectively, nearly two weeks apart.
Dawkins, who died of a heart attack at age 58 in Allentown, and Malone, who died of a cardiovascular disease at the age of 60 in Norfolk, were both widely respected former players throughout the NBA community and are both members of the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame.
Malone’s body was found when he did not show up at a celebrity golf tournament he was scheduled to play in. Dawkins died at the hospital in Allentown.
Current Sixers CEO, Scott O’Neil, said “No one person has ever conveyed more with so few words- including three of the most iconic in this city’s history,” regarding Malone.
“Darryl touched the hearts and spirits of so many with his big smile and personality, ferocious dunks, but more than anything, his huge, loving heart,” said Dawkins’ family.
Dawkins had the popular nickname of “Chocolate Thunder,” which he was named because of his backboard-shattering dunks that he often performed. He spent 14 seasons in the NBA after being drafted fifth overall by the Sixers in the 1975 draft. He was the first high school player to ever be taken in the first round.
Late in his NBA career, injuries plagued Dawkins. He had short stints playing basketball in Italy and even was a member of the Harlem Globetrotters. Also, he coached at the minor league and junior college level.
Malone, a three time NBA MVP, led the Sixers to their most recent NBA title in the 1982-83 season, in which he made his famous saying “Fo, Fo, Fo,” claiming the Sixers would win all of their playoff series in four game sweeps. He spent 20 years in the NBA in which till this day he still holds many records.
He is currently fifth all time in rebounds, eighth in points, and first in offensive rebounds. As a twelve time all star, Malone belongs in an elite club of players who scored 25,000 points and 15,000 rebounds throughout their career. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, and Elvin Hayes were the only other players to accomplish this feat. Malone was also named one of the top 50 NBA players of all time by NBA.com.
Both of these basketball icons will be deeply missed by the entire NBA and fans of the game.