Moses Malone Rumors
The National Basketball Players Association is working on a program that would fund cardiac screening and supplemental health insurance for its retired players, an initiative expedited by the recent sudden deaths of legends Darryl Dawkins and Moses Malone. The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.
Across town, National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts mourned the player she celebrated as a young basketball fan growing up in the Bronx. “When I heard about Darryl, I thought, ‘That’s not supposed to happen,’ Roberts said. “It’s too soon.” Seventeen days later, Moses Malone, who had spent the weekend enjoying the annual Hall of Fame festivities in Springfield, Massachusetts, was found dead in a hotel room in Norfolk, Virginia. Those close to Malone say the 60-year-old exercised regularly after his NBA career and eschewed drugs and alcohol. An autopsy concluded the cause of death was coronary artery disease.
Kersey died on Feb. 18 at age 52. Darryl Dawkins died on Aug. 27 at 58. Moses Malone died on Sept. 13 at 60. The causes varied—blood clots for Kersey, a heart attack for Dawkins, heart disease for Malone—but height was a common denominator. Kersey was 6’ 7″, Malone 6’ 10″, Dawkins 6’ 11″. It was a scary summer to be a big man. Super-human size did not seem like such a blessing anymore. Bosh looks at the number of big men with health problems and says, “There’s a discussion we need to have about what we can do.” According to Shirin Shafazand, a pulmonologist with the University of Miami Health System, tall people are no more prone to blood clots than anybody else. But professional athletes may be, since they regularly sustain injuries and take long flights immediately afterward. “If there’s damage to the blood vessels, and then you sit on a plane for six hours without moving or staying hydrated, a clot can easily form,” Shafazand says.
“He did it his own way,” Erving said, comparing basketball’s “Chairman of the Boards” to another. “You have to compare him to Frank Sinatra, a guy who did it his own way and in the process, changed everything. Moses wasn’t the smoothest. He wasn’t the most articulate. There’s a short list of things he wasn’t and a long list of things that he was. “I feel like he completed his mission. He always had a mission, the message that he carried around in his bible. He did what it said. He was a man who loved his family, loved life to the fullest and got the most out of his time here.”
Mark Berman: Charles Barkley did the eulogy for Moses Malone’s funeral: “It’s an honor to be here. He was a very important significant person in my life. I called him dad. Never called him Moses for the last 30 years. I just feel sadness. It means the world to me.It’s special just to be here. He was much more than family”.
Mark Berman: Julius Erving (Dr. J) was at Moses Malone’s funeral: “When he was given that stage he made the best of it and he did it his own way. You’ve got to compare him to Frank Sinatra, a guy who did it his own way, and during the process of doing it his own way, changed everything.”