Remembering Len Bias
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Aka VincentDa & RedApples fka Expiredpineapples. My alter-ego is a digital-marketing guy in Houston. Won editing awards & created obsolete flash websites that have been featured in mags like Sports Illustrated. Studied film & women at FSU during the golden age of hip-hop. Collects records, laserdiscs, sports memorabilia & toys. Father of 2 daughters that are more athletic and popular on YouTube.
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Can you imagine if the 2015 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors would have drafted Karl-Anthony Towns this season and two days after the draft, the future Rookie of the Year passed away? That’s what happened 31 years ago today, when Leonard Kevin “Len” Bias, at the age of 22, died of a drug overdose just two days after being drafted to the Champion Boston Celtics.
Len Bias was the real deal. A 6’8 beast with 40″ hops like Jordan and the lean muscles of Karl Malone; Think LeBron James during an era when a lot of small forwards were built like Reggie Miller and Tayshaun Prince.
If you are thinking Bias might be one of those “what if” cases where a player becomes overrated over time because we never got to see what they could become, consider the fact that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski once said Bias and Jordan were the two best players to ever play in the ACC. Consider the fact that Celtics GM Red Auerbach, with his 16 Championship rings on his hands, spent three years making plans to get his hands on Bias. Why? Because Bias was already one of the best basketball players in the world before he shook David Stern’s hand. And that’s why so many people considered him a “sure thing.” But the only “sure thing” in life is death and unfortunately, 31 years ago today, death came early for Len Bias.
To learn more about Bias and his unfortunate death, I highly recommend you watch (below) the ESPN 30 for 30 film “Without Bias” by director Kirk Fraser and the following clips.