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Jack McCallum remembers the fallout from Len Bias' death

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by silvershadow1981, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Hard to believe it will be 25 years tomorrow and Jack McCallum takes the readers back in time to where he was and what he was doing to get the story for SI. I found this to be compelling, but I know you guys and gals can form your own opinions.

  2. Liut

    Liut Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link. Very interesting read.
  3. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    I remember a lot of people started getting high.
    It should be noted that Lonise Bias also lost another son when Len's younger brother, Jay, he was shot and killed in a Maryland mall.
  4. Liut

    Liut Well-Known Member

    As noted at the end of the story.
  5. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    "Dead Kid on the Block." Ouch. Bad choice of words there.
  6. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    yeah, it's noted with nice details, including mom saying that jay was damaged more than anyone by his big bro's death. understanding concession from a mom who lose two sons so filled with promise in tragic fashion.
  7. Sleeper

    Sleeper Member

    Do we have to reexamine Len Bias' death every five years? Enough already.
  8. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Here's the thing that gets me about the Bias stories -- in this one he's a "sure thing," the next generation version of Larry Bird, the "bridge to another Celtics title."


    I'm not making light of the tragedy, and Bias was a hell of a college player. But let's break down that '86 draft. Brad Daugherty was picked ahead of Bias -- a nice player, not a great player -- and was the only first-round pick that year who ever made an all-star team. Meanwhile, the first 12 picks of that draft produced Chris Washburn, William Bedford, Roy Tarpley and John "Hot Plate" Williams.

    In retrospect, why does anyone the guy who ODed who have been a superstar from a draft class that produced virtually nothing but junkies and role players?
  9. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Obviously you were not around to see Len Bias play. He was a stud, pure and simple. If I had to select an all-time ACC team, he's there along with Jordan, Duncan, David Thompson and Sampson. What could should happened with Bias didn't. That's the tragedy.
    @Sleepr, it's reexamined because its a tragedy and historic. Nothing like it has happened since and hopefully never will.
  10. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I was. And like I said, he was a hell of a college player.

    So was Chris Washburn... who was the very next player drafted.

    It's a horrible tragedy either way. I'm saying, let's not count up the titles Boston would have won with Bias in the lineup. You just don't know, and there are plenty of reasons to think it wouldn't have happened.
  11. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    i was as sure that bias would be a stud as i was about jordan. ya gotta remember you're talking about a time when 'bigs' got the nod over mere humans atop the draft 'cause no one wanted to chance missing on a 'big.' but forget this debate of 'was bias the real deal or not?' 'cause no way anyone can say for obviously.

    but given the perfect storm of a story -- all-time great team finagles high pick, gets consensus stud, who's dead within 48 hours as athletes and cocaine reality hits its heights -- you get this painted as an american tragedy.

    at its core, the basic tale is akin to the tragic death of the great 'cuse back, chosen by the browns as the heir to his hero, fellow 'cuse alum jim brown, dying of leukemia before playing a down. can we really be sure the kid was 'the next jim brown?' of course not. but he was universally hailed, died before we could ever know, and his legend lives on as 'the ernie davis story.'

    how sour of a person must you be to question why it's an american sports tragedy?
  12. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Chris Washburn was an idiot and acted that way on and off the court You couldn't compare his rise like that of Bias, who improved every year. Bias was a good kid from a good family. He just got caught up one night and it ended in tragedy.
    I'm not even thinking about the Celtics part of it. I'm just thinking about a kid on the brink of fulfilling his dream dying because his bod couldn't handle fishscale coke.
    His death woke many people up about the dangers of cocaine.
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