AP Photo/Isaac Brekken
The Celtics drafted Len Bias at No. 2 during the 1986 draft.Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Len Bias. As we remember the tragic end of his life, here's a pair of articles that reflect on Bias:
The Len Bias Morality Play began with a single bizarre phone call, placed from a dormitory on a college campus to a 911 dispatcher whose Baltimorese hammered flat the word "phone" and who, from his tone of voice, apparently assumed this whole thing was a put-on, a prank by a bunch of rowdy university kids with nothing better to do. It was approximately 6:30 in the morning. The voice of the caller was slurred and hesitant, and the voice kept repeating the victim's name until the dispatcher declared, "It doesn't matter what his name is." But Brian Tribble was also (presumably) prodigiously high, and this was really happening to him -- his friend was having a seizure on the floor of his suite, 1103 Washington Hall, on the University of Maryland campus. So Tribble kept repeating the name, and uttering panicky phrases like, "This is Len Bias. You have to get him back to life. There's no way he can die."
Yeah, I still think about him. Sometimes I see red. That's the color of Maryland's uniform when Lenny Bias won me over for good, the February day he tossed the Terrapins on his back and toppled the No. 1-ranked Tar Heels by himself. Given that my team (the Celtics) was holding a potential top-five pick in the '86 draft that summer, I almost broke an ankle hurling myself onto the Bias Bandwagon. There was one play when Bias drained a 15-footer, then came flying back in to steal the inbounds pass and dunk the ball behind his head, fluidly, all in one motion. I can't even really describe it. When somebody makes The Leap right before your eyes in sports ... well, you remember. You always remember.
For more on Bias, hop HERE to scroll through the ESPN archive.