Last Updated Sep 13, 2015 12:07 PM EDT
Moses Malone, the legendary 3-time NBA MVP who had one of the sport's most storied careers, has passed away at age 60.
Det. Jeffrey Scott of the Norfolk, Virginia Police Department confirmed that Malone died in a Norfolk hotel room. He said there was no indication of foul play. Malone's body was discovered when he failed to report to a celebrity golf tournament in which he was scheduled to play.
Malone, whose nickname was "The Chairman of the Boards," was one of the NBA's all-time 50 greatest players, and was the most successful basketball player of his era to jump right from high school to the pro ranks.
Among his many feats, he helped end the city of Philadelphia's pro sports championship drought, earning the NBA Finals MVP in 1983 when he and "Dr." Julius Erving brought home the series victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
In a statement, the 76ers said: "It is difficult to express what his contributions to this organization - both as a friend and player - have meant to us, the city of Philadelphia and his faithful fans. Moses holds a special place in our hearts and will forever be remembered as a genuine icon and pillar of the most storied era in the history of Philadelphia 76ers basketball."
Malone is the NBA's career leader in offensive rebounds and led the league in rebounds per game for five straight seasons from 1980-85.
Malone was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2001 and attended the induction ceremonies for the year's class in Springfield, Massachusetts this weekend.
Drafted by the Utah Stars of the ABA in 1974, Malone went on to play for eight NBA clubs and was the league's MVP in 1979 and 1982 while playing for the Houston Rockets.
"Everyone in the organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Moses Malone," Rockets owners Leslie Alexander said. "Moses was a true gentleman and one of the great Rockets - and greatest NBA players - of all time. He will be forever missed. Our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends."
Malone joined the 76ers the following season and added his third MVP award while leading the 76ers to that championship after making his famed "Fo', Fo', Fo'," prediction that the Sixers would win their playoff series in four-game sweeps.
"No one person has ever conveyed more with so few words - including three of the most iconic in this city's history," 76ers CEO Scott O'Neil said. "His generosity, towering personality and incomparable sense of humor will truly be missed."