Moses Malone

The first time I worked with Moses Malone we played ‘horse’ and he beat me and won twenty dollars.  He refused to take the money but I put it in his sock when he was having lunch.  When he came back on the court he threw up a shot from half court and shouted “Twenty Bucks!”  He missed and gave me back the twenty.  Slate clean.  We were shooting the spot in the gym of a boy’s school in New York and some of the kids were hanging around watching.  Moses grabbed the other players, including Charles Barkley, and made them sign stuff for the kids, a magnanimous gesture.  I’ve worked with him a number of times since then and he was always full of tongue in cheek humor, a lot like Muhammad Ali. In his early career he was accused of being a dummy.  He joined the ABA right from high school, one of the first to do that.  He grew into a force and the Philadelphia team that he won the NBA championship with a team that may have been the best of all time.  He consistently outplayed Kareem.  Of course, Kareem may have been past his prime but was a much bigger man than Moses. Moses had the biggest heart of anyone.  Charles Barkley said that he would not have been the great player that he became without Moses. He was the Thelonious Monk of B Ball. When he passed I shed more than a few tears.