National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day – June 19 – Len Bias

0 Comments 19 June 2012


Today’s DPD is Len Bias. The untimely passing of Len was a massive moment in American history – and in particular the so called ‘war on drugs’. Len was an absolute stud – in my opinion he was the best college basketball player in the country. He was drafted by the Celtics – not only the most storied franchise in the NBA but, at that point in time, were riding the crest of a vogue on the heels of Larry Bird. The Celtics had won the title in ‘81, ‘84 and in ‘86 and thanks to some fancy maneuvering by GM Red Auerbach they had scored the 2nd overall pick in the 86 draft and gotten Bias. He was set to take over for a soon-to-be ailing Larry Bird. All for naught.

More importantly…there was an epidemic in America during the 1980s. Cocaine…and crack in particular was running rampant with the poorer populations. Like most things it had the third person effect on people. Sure, they read about it in the newspaper and saw it on the evening news. But people generally thought it was a ghetto problem and couldn’t affect ‘their lives’.

Until Len. A young, up and coming superstar fell victim and the excrement hit the AC as Mr. Vonnegut would say. It was a tragedy all around. Nobody won. And as a Celtics fan and general enthusiast for the human race it was a sad day for me too.

With a heavy heart, I give you today’s DPD

Maryland Basketball Star Len Bias Is Dead at 22

By Keith Harriston and Sally Jenkins
Washington Post Staff Writers
June 20, 1986

University of Maryland all-America basketball player Len Bias collapsed in his dormitory suite early yesterday morning and two hours later was pronounced dead of cardiac arrest at Leland Memorial Hospital in Riverdale.

Evidence of cocaine was found in a urine sample taken at the hospital as an emergency medical team labored from 6:50 to 8:50 a.m. to revive him, police sources said. Maj. James Ross, head of criminal investigations for Prince George’s County police, said even if cocaine had been detected, it would not be possible to tell if that had contributed to Bias’ death without further tests. Continue

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