The death of 76ers great Moses Malone rocked the sports world Sunday.
A ferocious rebounder, the Hall of Famer known as the Chairman of the Boards was mourned far and wide.
Former and current NBA players took to social media, released statements, and expressed grief over losing the three-time MVP who led the Sixers to their last NBA title in 1983.
“I am extremely saddened to hear of Moses’ passing this morning. This is extremely tough for me. I am completely in shock and words can’t express the pain and loss I am feeling right now,” Dominique Wilkins said in a statement.
Malone played alongside Wilkins in Atlanta from 1988-91 and made the same impression on the Hawks’ legend as he did on so many who spent time with him.
“He was one of the first greats who truly mentored me and showed me how to be a professional. I never saw anyone work harder than Moses, and away from basketball he was just as kind and thoughtful,” Wilkins said.
The news quickly spread through the Sixers community and a flood of posts on Twitter and Instagram followed from those who knew him personally, and those who only knew him as an icon of unyielding aggression in the paint.
Allen Iverson said on Twitter, “My condolences to the family and friends of Moses Malone. You will truly be missed. Rest in peace Big Mo!”
Malone’s former Sixers teammate Charles Barkley said in a statement, “The man I called ‘Dad’ passed today. Words can’t explain my sadness. I will never know why a Hall of Famer took a fat, lazy kid from Auburn and treated him like a son.”
Current Sixers big man Jahlil Okafor tweeted a photo of Malone in a sea of fans with the words, “You had the whole city of Philly on your back. Rest in Paradise.”
76ers CEO Scott O’Neil and NBA commissioner Adam Silver released statements as the void left by the 60-year-old’s passing was felt in all corners of the NBA.
“I have fond memories of when Moses and Dr. J led their Sixers to a 4-0 sweep in the 1983 NBA Finals against my Lakers,” Magic Johnson said in a tweet.
The passing of Malone came