Fo, Fo, Fo: Moses Malone & the 76ers Sweep the Lakers in the 1983 Finals
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“Fo fo’ fo” said a confident Moses Malone when giving his prediction on how the 76ers would do in the playoffs after going a league best 65-17 in the regular season.
As impossible as that sounds, he was almost right and after he, Dr. J, Andrew Toney, Mo Cheeks and the rest of the Philly crew swept the Knicks, beat the Bucks 4-1 and then swept Magic Johnson and the Worthy-less Lakers in the 83 Finals, the team received Championship rings engraved with an updated quote: Fo, Five, Fo.
“Everybody had a sense that this was our opportunity,” recalled Sixth Man of the Year Bobby Jones. “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.”
The big guy outplayed Kareem, Rambis and Landsberger throughout the series and saved his best for last when he put up 24 points and 23 rebounds in a Game 4. But the final game of the amazing season for the 76ers was far from a one-man show as Toney, Cheeks and the Doctor all put up 20+ points and Bobby Jones came off the bench and made 6 of 7 shots. It was a total team effort by one of the greatest basketball teams of all-time.
“There was nothing pretty about what we did in the NBA Finals,” Erving said. “But it was all so beautiful.”