Moses Malone Rumors

Of course, Dirk Nowitzki has always been a big fan of Bryant, who now sits in the No. 3 spot among the league’s all-time scoring leaders with 32,331 career points. “He’s probably the greatest player in my generation that I played against,” said Nowitzki, who has 27,239 career points and will likely pass Elvin Hayes and Moses Malone over the next few weeks to move up to seventh on the list. “Obviously Shaq was very dominant, Tim Duncan was great, but I just loved watching Kobe.
“He’s a great basketball mind,” Griz general manager Chris Wallace said. Bzdelik made the case that being away from the NBA for so long shouldn’t be viewed negatively because of the extent of his resume. “Players are so young now in the league that I’ve got a sense of how to connect with them by being in college and I have an understanding of that generation,” Bzdelik said. “I’ve been around a lot of veteran (NBA) players, too. My first year in the NBA with Washington we had Moses Malone and Bernard King. I can draw from both experiences as far as veteran players and younger players. I really missed the NBA. I love the NBA. I always stayed connected with it. It’s great to be back in it.
Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson learned early on in this NBA life that learning the basketball basics late was far better than never learning them at all. Case in point? His rookie season with the Boston Celtics, when his coach at the time, Doc Rivers, gave the brutish big man DVD homework to study of a Hall of Famer who Jefferson – shockingly enough – had never heard of: the one and only Moses Malone. “At that time (2004), I really didn’t know who Moses Malone was coming out of (Prentiss) Mississippi,” said Jefferson, who was the Celtics’ 15th pick in the first round that year. “I watched that DVD, and was like, ‘Wow.’ “Just to be able to have my game now represent the old-school game back in the day that at one point in time the world was used to and loved? I’m thankful.”
Last week, the likes of Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Billy Cunningham, Doug Collins, Bobby Jones, Pat Croce, Wali Jones and others converged in a back room of the Wells Fargo Center to pay tribute to Jeff Millman, a 50-year employee of the organization whose jobs varied from ballboy to equipment manager, but whose undeniable fingerprints on the club couldn’t be given a title. The locker room was dedicated to him before the season opener against the Miami Heat, and he was introduced to the near sellout crowd in the first quarter, surrounded by the basketball royalty mentioned above. Millman was battling cancer, and all of those famous athletes whose lives he touched wanted to honor him. And, really, say goodbye.
Jeff Millman touched many people’s lives during a half-century of service to the 76ers. Many of the greatest names in franchise history returned to honor him Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center against the Miami Heat. Among the former Sixers on hand were Julius Erving, Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson, Moses Malone, Billy Cunningham, Bobby Jones, Darryl Dawkins, and Doug Collins. In a pregame ceremony, the Sixers dedicated their locker room to Millman, a longtime equipment manager who had several jobs with the team over the years. They also honored him with a video tribute.
He is the only undrafted player to lead a franchise in career rebounds and is fourth in rebounding among all undrafted players, behind Moses Malone, Ben Wallace and Brad Miller. “There’s no hiding it. Everybody knows he’s my favorite player and his story is one of the most special stories,” Spoelstra said. “It’s somebody who came from our own backyard in the toughest of communities in Miami. To not only make it out but then to be an absolute example for young kids to aspire to and to be the core value face of our franchise, it’s pretty amazing.”
“They had all kinds of forwards out there,” McHale said. “I think it’s a sad state when you can’t (find) enough centers in our league anymore to fill up the roster. I don’t know if it’s a position-less game. If Moses Malone was playing right now and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Robert Parish, you’d have centers. I don’t know where they went. They went the way of the dinosaur, I think”.
Moses Malone has a long resume, and it is difficult to compare him to any young player in the game today. But if anyone has the potential to be what Malone was, it is Kings center DeMarcus Cousins. Already, we have seen some of the downside of Cousins—he has clashed with his coach and been fined by his team several times. When it comes to scowling, he is certainly the equal of Malone. But we also have seen just how talent-laden Cousins is. After averaging 14.1 points and 8.6 rebounds as a rookie, Cousins stepped up his game last year, posting 18.1 points and 11.0 rebounds. Those numbers came despite being limited to 30.5 minutes per game. Cousins blossomed last year after the team fired coach Paul Westphal, with whom Cousins had a nasty locker-room run-in. Keith Smart took over, and Cousins responded well. He has also been working with well-known big-man coach Clifford Ray, who has helped tutor Dwight Howard and Al Jefferson, among others. What strikes Ray, who battled against Malone in the ’70s, about Cousins is how offensively advanced he is already. “He is just scratching the surface really,” Ray said.
Joey Crawford: Charles Barkley might have been my favorite player to be with on the court. He was one of them at least. Charles used to get a lot of technical fouls, but the thing about Charles was that he didn’t take things personally. The next game was the next game. I always appreciated that about him. Moses Malone was one of the funniest. We were in Denver, I think he was playing with Philly at the time, and that day, a reporter had done a top-10 referee list and my name was in there. So my first call of the night is like a loose-ball foul on Moses, and Moses just turns and says, “That is not a top-10 call.” I had to laugh.
It has been 29 years since the 76ers won the franchise’s last championship, so on Friday, in a nod to nostalgia, the organization welcomed back members of that 1982-83 team. Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Moses Malone, Bobby Jones, and Earl Cureton attended the Sixers’ home opener at the Wells Fargo Center. This resonated with coach Doug Collins, the No. 1 pick in the 1973 draft and an eight-year Sixer. “It’s good – it brings to mind championships,” said Collins, who became famous in the city for, among other things, tossing alley-oop passes to Erving. “Bobby Jones and I go back to the 1972 Olympics – so, obviously, we got our hearts broken in Munich. I remember playing alongside Julius, trading for Bobby. “It goes back to a great time and a team that set a standard of excellence,” Collins continued. “And that’s what we aspire to at some point in time. So I think that any time you can bring back former guys who set a kind of standard it’s great for our guys to see and for our fans to see.”
Last month, when asked about the possibility of seeing his streak for consecutive double-doubles broken by Kevin Love, NBA Hall of Famer Moses Malone responded with a furrowed brow. “I did not even know that was a record until somebody told me the other day,” he said. “Really, when I played, no one ever said ‘double-double.’ If you were a big guy, you just did your job, got your rebounds inside, played defense and scored when you could. Nobody was talking about double-doubles.”