Back in 1989 when huge money contracts weren’t yet everyday occurrences, the Atlanta Hawks signed a 7-footer named John Koncak to a six-year $13 million dollar deal — even though Koncak grabbed fewer than five rebounds a game. The Hawks felt they couldn’t let him go and keep alive their chances of contending. Koncak swiftly acquired the nickname “Jon Contract” — and his deal incited not a little bit of envy from players around the league.
A writer at the time thought to get Moses Malone‘s opinion, expecting Malone would be appalled. After all, Malone — then with the Hawks too — was one of the first really big money guys, getting the Sixers to pay him $2.2 million a year to lead them to the promised land in 1983. Surely he’d be angry that along comes Jon Koncak, suddenly making nearly the kind of money that the certain Hall of Famer and 3-time league MVP Malone was making. But Moses Malone, as ever, took the sensible perspective. He said he was happy about the Koncak deal. “Good news for me,” said Malone. “I can get five rebounds a game in this league till I’m 50.” RIP, Moses Malone. One of the very best basketball players that ever lived.