I remember the 1988 through 1991 Hawks teams well as that was the time in my life that I was just starting to embrace this wonderful game that would forever shape my life. While at the time I classified myself as somewhat of a Hawks die hard, looking back now I realize that even I did not appreciate the greatness that was Moses Malone. A Hardwood Paroxysm piece written by Matt Moore helped to jog my memory this morning. It is essential reading to anyone that loves the game and the NBA in particular. It is a shame that Moses is often forgotten or easily overlooked in an era that saw greats such as Julius Erving, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Larry Bird. Yet that was Moses' style. He never went looking for attention, he let his game do the talking.
Again, that kind of honesty, that kind of humility, that kind of workman’s ethic, even if he was just spouting off cliches to a reporter? You don’t see that anymore. And you certainly don’t see it from MVPs. Steve Nash was too cerebral, Dirk Nowitzki was too self-unaware, and Kobe and LeBron would never admit anyone was ever better than them at anything (and in doing so would be simultaneously loved and hated). Moses? Just thought he was pretty good at what he did.
Atlanta was only treated to three seasons of Moses Malone Basketball. He was 33 years old when he came to the Hawks and averaged 20.2 points and 11.8 rebounds per game in the 1988-89 season. His scoring dropped to 18.9 points but he still averaged a solid 10.0 rebounds per in the 89-90 season. Malone came off the bench for the Hawks in the 90-91 season and averaged 10.6 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He played in 244 of 246 possible regular season games as a Hawk including all 82 games as a 35 year old in his final season.
Malone was past his prime when he joined the Hawks but as you can see he was still a very productive player. Many thanks to Matt Moore for writing such a great story about a man that is too easily forgotten.