It’s been just over a week since NBA legend Moses Malone unfortunately passed away in his sleep. Charles Barkley was just beginning his NBA career when Malone was in the prime of his. Despite that, Barkley and Malone still had a very strong bond with each other and, because of their relationship, Barkley was asked to give the eulogy at Malone’s funeral.
On Monday, USA TODAY’s For the Win shared Barkley’s emotional eulogy that he gave at the celebration of Malone’s life on Sunday. Barkley talked about how Malone was one of his few mentors during his days in the NBA and how Malone’s biggest achievement in life was not about being in the Hall of Fame, but something much bigger than that.
“One of my other mentors is Bill Russell. He’s been an amazing person in my life, also like Big Mo … I always ask him, ‘what is your greatest accomplishment? Was it winning back to back championships in college and all those championships in the NBA?’ And he says ‘no dude, that’s just basketball. The only thing that mattered to me in my life was pleasing my dad. I don’t care about basketball, that’s great to do all that stuff, but the number thing a man should want to do is please his father.’ And the sweet part for me, is being up here today, when the family asked me to speak today it meant, to me, that my ‘Dad’ was proud of me,” Barkley said.
“This is one of the coolest things that ever happened to me in my life because when the family called me and asked me to speak, this means that Moses told [his family] he was proud of me. That’s the sweet part. This day is bitter and it’s sweet. I was blessed to have a connection with Moses and my condolences to the family, and the world is a sadder place because he’s not here.”
What a great way to remember one of the people you looked up throughout your career and life. We could all take a great lesson from Barkley’s speech.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Sports Illustrated