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Celtics Legends Series: Len Bias

Posted by shawn cassidy on June 24, 2011 at 2:09 AM

On June 17, Bias was selected by the defending NBA champion Celtics as the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA Draft, which was held in New York City at Madison Square Garden. Arnold "Red" Auerbach, as the Boston Celtics President and General Manager, had previously dealt guard Gerald Henderson and cash to the Seattle Supersonics for the pick in 1984. After the draft, Bias and his family returned to their suburban Maryland home.

On June 18, Bias and his father flew to Boston, Massachusetts, from Washington, D.C., for an NBA Club draft acceptance and product endorsement signing ceremony with the Celtics' coaches and management, as well as with Reebok's Sports-Marketing Division. Bias reportedly signed a $3 million shoe contract with Reebok.

Later that day, his father left Boston to return to Washington in the late afternoon. There he gave a short press conference for the local Washington media at Washington National Airport. The media was at the airport expecting to interview Bias, so his father stood in, reporting on their "day with the Celtics" and their appreciation of the beginning of a new chapter in his and his son's lives.

Bias, who returned home later that night, retrieved his newly-leased sports car and drove back to his room on the campus of the University of Maryland.

However, prior to, and concurrent with, some of the given timelines of his activities at the campus, Bias's vehicle was observed and recorded by undercover agents of the Washington, DC metropolitan police department "cruising" one of the city’s most notorious drug neighborhoods along Montana Avenue, in the northeast section of the city. Although the surveillance did not determine who specifically was in the vehicle, or if the vehicle had stopped for any purpose, they did estimate there were at least two people, driver and passenger, in the vehicle, and they recorded its license number.

Four days after his death, more than 11,000 people packed the Cole Field House, the university recreation and student center where Bias played for the Terrapins, for a memorial service. Those speaking at the service included Auerbach, who said he had planned for three years to draft Bias for the Celtics. Auerbach added that the city of Boston had not been so shocked since the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Bias is buried in Lincoln Memorial Cemetery in Suitland, Maryland.

On June 30, 1986, the Celtics honored Bias with their own memorial service, giving his never used #30 Celtic jersey to his mother, Lonise.

He was going to be the next great player,and the player to take the team over after Bird. It's one of the saddest stories in sports history, It put a dark cloud over the Celtics. He seemed like a new wave of player for the Celtics franchise. I will never forget him even if he didn't play.


Categories: Celtics Legends Series

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Reply paul
09:57 AM on June 24, 2011 
He has to be the most important Celtic who never played for the Celtics. It seemed like it took the team two decades to get over his passing.
Reply Ricardo
08:22 PM on July 12, 2011 
I've only watched Len Bias play on youtube videos, because I was'nt born at that time, but was he a Small Foward or Power Foward? Or did he played both?
Reply shawn cassidy
10:14 PM on July 12, 2011 
Len was a small forward. He could play power forawrd.
Reply Ricardo
07:03 PM on July 13, 2011 
Thanks Man! I asked because the next year the Celtics drafted Reggie Lewis and to me it didn't make any sense because they were to SF, but Lewis can play SG and Bias PF so they would've made a great impact on the team and probably win more championships for the C's. Dang "Len" what could've been!

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