CAmerican basketball legend has it that there was a player who was able to overshadow Michael Jordan during his career. A rival who could be considered better than the best player in the history of basketball. A player named Len Bias, that he was destined to overcome the myth of the Bulls and that he only lost to himself and his demons.
“I was a little ahead of Michael Jordan“, he assured Walt Williams in a recent interview, recalling the No. 2 figure from the 1986 draft. “We would have talked about him as the best of all time. Jordan would be on a different level. I think they would have pushed each other to the limit, but Bias was a little bit above Michael. Bias’s jump shot was the most beautiful thing to see and he could defend in various positions. It was kind of a hybrid of the current game. “
However, his entire career was left on the highest conditional of all time because of cocaine, which truncated the career of a player called to be one of the greatest in history and who ended up defeated by his fears and the pressure that I wore it before I was even a professional.
Bias was destined to be an NBA star when he entered the 1986 draft and was voted No. 2 by the Boston Celtics. It was the future of the franchise, the player called to take over from Larry Bird in terms of leadership and on which the Massachusetts team wanted to build a new winning dynasty. He could never prove it.
We would have talked about him as the best of all time. Jordan will be on a different level. I think they would have pushed each other to the limit, but Bias was a bit above Michael. “
The night of the tragedy
The June 19, 1986, just two days after the draft it was his last game. Len needed strong emotions, pushing his freedom to the limit before joining the Celtics and submitting to the demanding discipline of the NBA. Around three in the morning, at Washington Hall, the university residence where he was staying, Len Bias consumed some stripes of cocaine. It was one of those decisions of an unconscious young man who thinks that nothing will take its toll. He was wrong.
Fear appeared in his eyes. This was not going well. He sat up in bed and tried to calm himself. He tried to take a deep breath, but his heart was racing so fast that he collapsed. His whole life passed before him. Len Bias’s eyes filled with tears and memories. There were so many moments that fought to come to his head that some had no place: the constant praise of the press, the awards for best athlete and best university player of 1986 …
All those thoughts faded shortly after. A mistake in an immaculate trajectory cost him his life. When the medical services entered his room at 6.36 in the morning, he was unconscious and not breathing. After 8:55, the doctors certified the death of Len Bias.
Four days after his death, 11,000 people had passed by the Cole Field House, the pavilion of the Maryland Terrapins where Bias dazzled the world. Red Auerbach said the city of Boston had not suffered such a shock since Kennedy’s assassination.