Len Bias was born this day in 1963. Len Bias will always be one of the great cautionary tales in sports. The man who had it all who make a tragic mistake that cost him his life. Len Bias was ‘a sure thing.” On June 17th, 1986 he was the second overall pick in the NBA by the Boston Celtics. Two days later he was dead of a cocaine overdose at the age of 22.
One of the great what ifs? The Boston Celtics were just coming off another World Championship. They were a veteran team and with the addition of Len Bias they may have had an incredible run. I think they most certainly would have won more championships in that era. Len Bias was being compared coming out of the University of Maryland to a guy named Michael Jordan. You throw him in their with the likes of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, The Chief Robert Parish… the death of Len Bias began a long string of bad luck and tragedy for the Celtics who would not win another World Championship until 2008.
I can still remember clearly where I was and who told me that Bias had died. It was one of those moments that it took a couple minutes to comprehend what I was being told. The death of Len Bias also brought down coach Lefty Driesell’s program at Maryland.
In December of 1990 Jay Bias the brother of Len Bias was murdered in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Hyattsville, Maryland.
Suggested viewing- The ESPN 30 for 30 “Without Bias”