Fo. Fo. Fo.
I turn 30 years old in precisely 51 days. I can't speak for anyone else who has surpassed the 30-year milestone, but I'm hear to tell you that you do a ton of reflecting about your past living as you begin to inch up on the magical 30-piece. Is this the life you expected to have? Should you be doing something different? Did I mess up in not hollering at that chick who was giving you rhythm in the club back in '04? You know, simple stuff like that.
Once you get past the reflecting of your own life, you begin to appreciate the things you witnessed in your almost 30 years of living. As a basketball fan, I'm fortunate to say that I saw the last years of the original Magic Johnson-led Lakers dynasty. The Bad Boys. The Air Jordan-led UnbeataBulls. Hakeem's Rockets. The Shaqobe Era. The Big Fundamental's reign in San Antone. Detroit Basketball. D-Wade. The Big 3 in Beantown. Phil Jackson's last stand. Dirk. LeBron.
Oh LeBron, the man who clarified his intentions of joining the Miami Heat by saying his team would win "not 1, not 2, not 3, not 4, not 5, not 6, not 7 ..." titles. A statement that felt sincere, even if it resembled someone stating that he'd shoot for the moon and hopefully landing on the stars, it was a bold declaration of what The King intended to do during his tenure in South Beach.
Of course, what preceded my birth by just a mere 60 days was the crowning of the Philadelphia 76ers as the NBA World Champions. Led by the legend that is Julius Erving, the Sixers were finally able to get the proverbial monkey off their back after failing to bring home the title in '77 vs. the Blazers and in '80 and '82 vs. the Lakers. Of course, this wasn't all of The Doctor's doing, as a certain big-man extraordinaire was acquired in the offseason in an attempt to get these Sixers over the hump.
Fo. Fo. Fo.
Moses Malone was acquired from the Houston Rockets via trade, as the Sixers sent Caldwell Jones down to H-Town. Previously, the Sixers sent fan favorite Darryl Dawkins to New Jersey in hopes of acquiring the league's first superstar straight out of high school, and when Moses finally arrived in Philly, many were concerned that he and Dr. J would clash. However, once Moses got acclimated to his new settings, folks began to believe that the Sixers could have that "Championship Feeling." Per the first ever winner of the Sixth Man Award and four-time NBA all-star Bobby Jones:
"Everybody had a sense that this was our opportunity. The motivation was there, and we were healthy, too. We got off to a good start, got some confidence and didn't get cocky — we kept that good work ethic. I think Moses really established a lot of that. Julius had always had it. But then a big guy comes in and does that, and it helps."
Acquiring a superstar big man to an already loaded roster is nothing new in NBA history, but as the Sixers began rolling during the 1982-83 season to a 65-win campaign, Moses Malone began really feeling himself and his team. Maybe he just had that feeling. Maybe he really knew. Maybe Dr. J and Moses had private conversations about how this one has to be the one. Maybe Moses admired the past transgressions of Erving and wanted to help get him over the hump. We know everything. We know nothing. All we knew is the league's original high flyer and the league's best eater of rebounds were on a crash course to another NBA Finals appearance ... and then Moses said those three memorable words.
Fo. Fo. Fo.
Who says that? You just gon' sweep everybody, Moses? For real? That's how you felt, man? Good grief.
While Moses called for 12 straight wins during the 76er conquest (the NBA only had three rounds back in 1983, not four rounds like today), the Sixers would drop one to the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round (coached by Don Nelson). When the rematch with the Los Angeles Lakers commenced in the Finals, the 76ers would fulfill Moses' destiny as the Doctor, The Boston Strangler, Mo Cheeks, Bobby Jones and the rest of the Sixers would finally bring home the NBA championship to Philadelphia.
Fo. Five. Fo.
*Just watching the clip of the 1983 Sixers I was taken aback on how much Dr. J was consistently yamming on dudes 30 years ago as a 33-year-old then. I wish LeBron dunked on people like this still. LeSigh.
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”