Farewell to NBA Greats Darryl Dawkins, Moses Malone
September 24, 2015
By Mitch Chortkoff
Before another NBA season begins soon let’s pause and honor two great players who helped make the league what it is today.
Darryl Dawkins and Moses Malone died in the last few weeks.
Both were giants who possessed extraordinary basketball ability.
“Moses Malone was a fierce and noble competitor. He will always be linked with Laker playoff history” was a statement from the Buss family.
“The NBA lost a giant and I lost a true friend,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. “There was no one like him.”
Rivers said Malone taught him how to be a pro. “He was not only my teammate and my friend but he was my mentor,” said Rivers.
Malone was named NBA MVP three times. The most memorable time was in 1983, the year he joined the Philadelphia 76ers.
Asked how the 76ers would do in the playoffs, which consisted of three straight best of-seven series requiring four victories to prevail Malone replied “Fo, fo fo.”
He was almost right. The Sixers won four straight, then four of five and then blitzed the Lakers in the Finals four games to none. Malone was named the Finals MVP.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver said Malone was one of the NBA’s best centers ever but will be missed for other reasons, his kindness, his generosity included.
He was only 60.
Dawkins, who died at 58, was nicknamed Chocolate Thunder by blind entertainer Stevie Wonder.
The nickname stuck and years later Dawkins said “Imagine that. I was named by a guy who never saw me play.”
Dawkins became known for tearing down backboards. He broke so many that the NBA changed to breakaway rims and fined players who would tear them down.
While Dawkins was an NBA superstar he would go into high school gyms to work with teen age basketball hopefuls.
It was said that Dawkins was loved everywhere he went.
The NBA goes on but only with a degree of sadness.