Barkley is the kind of player who leaves fans, as well as his peers, with their mouths agape with his passionate, unbridled renditions on the basketball court.
Moses Malone was the hard hat—6-foot-11, 255 pounds of steel-driving man. He showed up in overalls every night. And when everybody else was wobbly with fatigue, he was the guy still pounding rivets, drenched in sweat, a fierce scowl on his face.
This season, Erving’s 16th as a pro, was to have been the closing of the circle that is basketball.
He is the Leaping Unknown, Mr. Mean, Electric Legs, Little Moses. He is the fiercest rebounding forward alive.
Trouble with agents, trouble with coaches, trouble with people to whom he gave his trust has accompanied Willoughby throughout his basketball career like a persistent little sister.
Olajuwon will now team up with 7-foot-4 Ralph Sampson to give the Rockets one of the most potentially awesome frontlines in the history of the game.
Today, the peach fuzz has given way to a full goatee and mustache. The body is filled out, and the 18-year-old kid is no longer a man-child. Today, he’s a 24-year-old man. He is mature, thoughtful, and at times witty.
His Houston Rocket teammates miss; Malone doesn’t. What they miss, he grabs.
“The NBA exists on the money it gets from television and from the expansion teams,” says Tedd Munchak, the interim commissioner of the ABA.
Julius Erving was born, raised, and taught to play basketball on Long Island, in Hempstead, which is only three miles from the Nassau Coliseum.