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(Barry Gossage/NBAE Photos)
By Brad G. Faye, Suns.com
May 22, 2006
While at first glance the 6-10 225-pound Moses Malone may not appear to have much in common with Suns point guard Steve Nash, looks can most certainly be deceiving. Both have been two-time MVPís in the NBA and both come seasonís end will have hopefully led their respected teams to an NBA Championship.
Malone played for a number of NBA teams throughout his Hall of Fame career Ė none, however, being the Phoenix Suns. The former center still has strong ties to the Valley, particularly his relationship with former Suns great Charles Barkley. Malone was a teammate of Barkleyís back during his rookie campaign in Philadelphia, and the two have formed a strong bond ever since. One which will eventually carry over to Barkleyís Hall of Fame induction, set to take place in the fall. Malone recently sat down with Suns.com and discussed not only his relationship with the Chuckster, but his opinion of the current Suns team and their MVP Steve Nash.
Suns.com: You played with Charles Barkley his rookie season and he credits you with taking him under his wing early on in his career. Why did you decide to aide the Future Hall of Famer?
NBA Legend Moses Malone: When he came with the 76ers, I was there and I had the opportunity to be a father to this young guy and was the type of person who could get along with anybody. I think he liked being around me so much because he understood me as a person.
Suns.com: What was Charles like as a rookie?
Malone: Well, he weighed about 285 pounds and he thought he could play football, too. Charles is a good guy and Iím happy that Charles is a Hall Of Famer. Iíll be at the induction in Springfield and I look forward to seeing Charles getting in.
Suns.com: Any of the veterans ever give him trouble as a rookie?
Malone: Everybody gave him trouble, a rookie always gets trouble. Charles was a great guy though and he did everything right. He worked hard and became a great athlete and is now a Hall Of Famer.
Suns.com: What was it like playing against him later on in each of your careers?
Malone: Tough. You knew what he was going to do in rebounding and banging down low, whatever he could do to try and win.
Suns.com: You were a MVP yourself as is our own Steve Nash. Anything you see in him that you saw in yourself during your MVP days?
Malone: (laughing) He was a guard and I was a big man so he got the ball. His job is to make sure everybody else gets the ball. Steve Nash is a two-time MVP and he deserves it. Carrying the team the way he has last season and this season, I ainít got no problems with him winning it.
Suns.com: The style played by these Phoenix Suns is obviously a lot different than the defensive Philadelphia 76er teams you were a part of. Do you enjoy watching them play anyway?
Malone: Yes. Speed the game up, slow it down sometimes. If you can slow these guys down itíll be a tough game for them. But if they can get anything going with open shots and get the crowd into it, itís going be tough to beat them.
Suns.com: Are there any players out there currently who perhaps remind you of yourself?
Malone: No. Ainít nobody ever had a jumpshot like mine, ainít nobody ever power moves like mine, ainít nobody ever tough defense like mine and ainít nobody ever had the courage to be a winner like me.