As a father I wanted to write something special for this Father’s Day. At the same time, I had kept reading about how today was the 25th anniversary of Len Bias’ death. While I’m not old enough to remember watching the forward from Maryland fly through the air I have watched enough highlight clips…
to know he was a special player. It wasn’t until not to long ago however that I truly understood just how talented this young man was and the the tragedy that happened not only robbed the ones around him of watching him mature in an adult, it robbed us as basketball fans a chance to watch him turn into true greatness.
This was the guy who was going to go to Boston and allow Bird and McHale to take nights off in the regular season and extend both of their careers for a few years. Bias was also the obvious guy who very easily could’ve positioned himself as Micheal Jordan’s rival. When you look back at Jordan’s career, was there any player that you would call his rival? Wilt and Russell, Bird and Magic, Hakeem and Robinson. Those were rivalries. Jordan went up against the Pistons, the Pacers, the Knicks and the Jazz, but there was never that one guy who challenged his greatness. And maybe Bias wouldn’t have either, but he had as good of a chance as any.
So I’m doing my research on Len Bias when I find out that not only did he die tragically of a cocaine overdose, he had a younger brother who not only was a talented basketball prospect but also saw his life end to soon. Jay Bias, named after his father James Bias, was riding in a car just four and a half years later when he was shot in back twice just blocks from Maryland University. He was pronounced dead at the same hospital as his older brother and just like that, James and Lonise Bias had lost two sons, one only 22 and the other only 20.
By finalfinally – Jabberhead, Blogger (The Learning Curve), SJ Contributing Author