Moses Malone, a three-time pro basketball MVP and one of the sport’s most ferocious rebounders, died Sept. 13 at a hotel in Norfolk. He was 60.
Detective Jeffrey Scott of the Norfolk police department confirmed the death and said there was no indication of foul play. Mr. Malone’s body was discovered after he failed to report to a celebrity golf tournament in which he was scheduled to play.
A 6-foot-10 center who made the leap from high school to the pros, he was nicknamed the “Chairman of the Boards” and was the National Basketball Association’s career leader in offensive rebounds. He led the league in rebounds per game for five straight seasons from 1980 to 1985 and was part of the Philadelphia 76ers’ 1983 NBA championship team.
Mr. Malone was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 and attended the induction ceremonies for the year’s class this weekend in Springfield, Mass., before returning to his native Virginia.
His staggering statistics across 21 seasons and 1,455 professional games included 20.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game in his combined American Basketball Association and NBA careers. He holds NBA records for offensive rebounds in a career (6,731), season (587) and game (21).
“With three MVPs and an NBA championship, he was among the most dominant centers ever to play the game and one of the best players in the history of the NBA and the [old] ABA,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
Drafted in 1974 by the Utah Stars of the ABA, Mr. Malone went on to play for eight NBA clubs and was the league’s MVP in 1979 and 1982 while playing for the Houston Rockets.
Mr. Malone joined the 76ers the following season and added his third MVP award while leading the 76ers to that championship after making his famed “Fo’, Fo’, Fo’,” prediction that the Sixers would win their playoff series in four-game sweeps.
He wasn’t far off: The Sixers lost just one game in that postseason before sweeping the Lakers in the NBA Finals, with Mr. Malone winning the finals MVP award after averaging 26 points in that postseason.
“No one person has ever conveyed more with so few words — including three of the most iconic in this city’s history,” 76ers chief executive Scott O’Neil said.
Mr. Malone’s death comes shortly after that of another 76ers center, Darryl Dawkins.
Moses Eugene Malone was born in Petersburg, Va., on March 23, 1955. He was raised by his mother, a nurses’ aide and food-plant worker, in poverty.
After high school, he was poised to enter the University of Maryland but instead signed with the Utah Stars in the third round of the 1974 draft. He was among the first basketball players to enter the professional leagues straight from high school.
He also played for St. Louis before being selected in the ABA dispersal draft by Portland, which traded him to the Buffalo Braves.
Mr. Malone would go on to play for the Houston Rockets, the 76ers, the Washington Bullets (from 1986 to 1988), the Atlanta Hawks, the Milwaukee Bucks and the San Antonio Spurs, ending his career in the 1994-95 season.
He was a 12-time all-star and was chosen as one of the league’s 50 greatest players. Malone finished his NBA career with an average of 20.6 points and was a four-time selection to the All-NBA first team.
In 2005, he returned to the 76ers as a consultant and briefly as an assistant coach.
His marriage to Alfreda Gill, with whom he had two sons, ended in divorce. A list of survivors was not immediately available.