Moses Malone to be On Hand for Grand Opening of Vipers Pro Shop

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

July 27, 2009

MCALLEN, TEXAS - The NBA D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers announced today that basketball Hall-of-Famer Moses Malone will be signing autographs and taking pictures for free from 11:00 a.m.-to-12:30 p.m. during the grand opening of the Vipers Pro-Shop and Team Headquarters on August 7 in Uptown Plaza (4500 N. 10th St. in McAllen).

Named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players of all time, Malone started his 18-year NBA playing career with Buffalo in 1976 after spending two seasons in the ABA. After two games with Buffalo, Malone began a six-year stint as a member of the Houston Rockets. The three-time Most Valuable Player led the league in rebounding (17.6) and minutes per game (41.3) during the 1978-79 season. He also led the league in rebounding every year from the 1980-81 season-through-the 1984-85 season.

Malone’s best season was in 1981-82, when he led the league with 14.7 rebounds and 42.0 minutes per game. He averaged a career-high 31.1 points while shooting 51.9% from the field. He won his second MVP award that year.

The 11-time NBA All-Star led the Rockets to their first NBA Finals appearance in 1981, as the Rockets fell to the Boston Celtics in six games. He averaged 26.8 points and 14.5 rebounds in 45.5 minutes of action over the course of 21 playoff games.

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are a professional basketball team in the NBA Development League (NBA D-League). The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league and featured 16 teams with direct affiliations to NBA teams during the 2008-09 season. This fall, two new NBA D-League teams will begin play in Portland, Maine and Springfield, Mass.-- the birthplace of basketball. Eighty-four former NBA Development League players were on 2008-09 NBA end-of-season rosters, amounting to almost 20 percent of NBA players, and the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the season fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast. The Vipers’ NBA affiliate is the Houston Rockets.