September 13, 2015


Fo' Fo' Fo' Sure : '83 Sixers made good on Moses Malone's famous prediction (Michael Bradley,

By defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1983 NBA Finals, these Sixers did more than just hang Philadelphia's first basketball banner in 16 years. They also helped a town step out of the giant shadows cast by the Lakers and the Boston Celtics. And by doing it in four games, they left no doubt about their supremacy. All of those previous playoff disappointments became distant memories--the NBA Finals losses to L.A. in '80 and '82, the myriad defeats to the Celtics. Gone. Salmons was right to enter this temporary shrine, looking for some history. There was plenty to be found.

It starts with Malone, whose pre-playoff "Fo'-Fo'-Fo'" prediction of three series sweeps sounded like the crazy bellowing of a jolly hoops giant but turned out to be just about right. The Sixers swept New York in the Eastern Conference semis, having received a first-round bye due to their Atlantic Division title and NBA-best 65 wins. Milwaukee was next, thanks to the Bucks' surprising four-game dispatching of the Celtics. The Bucks didn't go out in four, preventing a sweep with a homecourt victory after falling behind 3-0, but eventually lost in five.

So, Malone amended his prediction to "Fo'-Fi'-Fo'"--still a surprising declaration, considering that Philadelphia had lost NBA Finals series to the Lakers in '80 and '82.

"The only thing I got mad at was Moses saying, 'Fo'-Fo'-Fo','" says former Lakers guard Michael Cooper, now coach of the two-time defending WNBA champion Los Angeles Sparks. "You're not supposed to do that."

Posted by at September 13, 2015 2:40 PM

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