Monday, November 9, 2009

30 for 30 - Len Bias

I've been watching this new series on ESPN called 30 for 30, it's a series of one-hour documentaries by 30 different directors of 30 different sports stories over the past 30 years celebrating ESPN's 30th anniversary. They recently had the tragic story of Len Bias.

Len Bias was a 22-year-old, All-American basketball player from the University of Maryland. In 1986, he was drafted by the world champion Boston Celtics. A day later, he had died from a cocaine overdose. One day he was on top of the world, his dreams had come true, and the next day, he was gone. A sad, sad story.

I was a little kid when this happened but I had heard of Len Bias and his death. I was a huge basketball fan as well as a L.A. Laker fan. This was the first time I heard of the actual story and what went on. Like anybody would think, my first thought was, oh man, how could you mess up such a great thing like that?

His death had a huge impact, not only on basketball and the NBA, but also on the fight on drugs in the 1980s and beyond. Len Bias was considered one of the best basketball players on the college level. I saw his jump shot in this documentary and was in awe. He had incredible shooting form. He could have been the rival that Michael Jordan needed in the 1990s. Things could have definitely been different if Len Bias had played a game for the Boston Celtics. Surely, we will never know.

Like always, the death of Len Bias teaches us to never take things for granted and live life to the fullest.

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