Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Better than MJ???

For those of you who do not know the picture is of, let me tell you. His name was Len Bias. He played basketball for the University of Maryland in the mid 80's. Bias was drafted by the Boston Celtics with the #2 pick in the 1986 NBA draft. The Celtics had just won their 16th NBA title and had come across the number 2 selection in the draft. Bias would have been teammates with Larry Bird, Robert Parrish and Kevin McHale, so who knows how long the Celtic Dynasty would have continued, but it doesn't matter.

Len Bias was arguably the best college basketball player of the 80's, and that includes a lot of talent, including MJ. Many, when they compared MJ to Bias, stated that Bias was further along than MJ that the same time in thier respective careers. In a head to head match up in an ACC game, Bias controlled the floor and defeated the Tarheels in the Dean Dome, which was the first time it had ever happened, a loss in the Dean Dome, but all that does not matter.

Len Bias signed one of the richest shoe contracts with Reebok in the mid 80's. He signed a multi-million dollar contract, he had the world at his feet. He might have been a bigger name in the NBA than anyone before him. Search YouTube for clips of him playing basketball, and you will realize he was a phenom. But none of that matters anymore.

You see Len Bias died two days after signing his shoe deal and NBA contract. Bias experimented with cocaine while celebrating his new found wealth, and he paid the ultimate price for it. Some say it was his first time doing drugs, others say it was not, but that doesn't matter either. Some reports claim it was crack cocaine, others claim that he snorted the cocaine, but that does not matter either.

What matters in all this is that a young, polite, talented young man was taken from his family, friends and fans due to drugs. The whole "it can't happen to me" line of thinking was in play here I am sure. I remember being a 15 year old kid thinking how could someone with so much waiting for him do drugs one time and end up dead? It was a shocker to the entire country and basketball fans everywhere.

Len Bias died almost 22 years ago this month. What is a really sad thought is that he has been dead almost as long as he was alive. Hopefully in his death, we will all learn a lesson, and that does matter.


  1. That was before I was keeping up with sports, but I have heard the "better than MJ" talk. My personal vote is MJ is the best of all time (yes even better than Wilt), but of course this can be argued ad naseum.

    Bill Simmons, the Boston Sports Guy from ESPN, is obviously a big fan of Boston teams. He had a nice article on Bias not too long ago. Still Haunted by Len Bias

  2. That is a great article. You should search YouTube and see some highlights sometime. He was amazing.


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