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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. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Hey Shockey... feel free to read what I actually wrote, and take the "sour person" shit and stuff it.

    It's a horrible American tragedy, on every level. What I'm saying doesn't lessen the tragedy one bit.

    What I'm saying, again, is this: each eulogy talks about what an incredible pro he was going to be and how many championships the Celtics would win with Bias in the lineup. And we don't know. We do know that the '86 draft was littered with drug casualties who never approached their promise, and it's not entirely unreasonable to suggest that the one guy who actually ODed may well have fallen into that group.
  2. shockey

    shockey Active Member

    and what i'm saying is this: why even raise that point?
  3. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Because I don't think it serves the story to always build the myth of the can't-miss "next generation Bird" who would rack up championships. And I read that in every single account of his death.

    He was a fabulous college player who died right at the point when he was realizing his life's goal. Isn't that enough? That's horribly tragic on his own. Why does every recounting of his death seem to base the tragedy on the glorious future of the Celtics derailed? We don't know what the future was, there are many reasons to think it wasn't so rosy, and to me it's unnecessary in his story.
  4. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    That's not true.You are reading generic national stories.
  5. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    Not only that, but would the Celtics have fallen on such hard times had he not died? To me, that's another reason why the story remains so compelling.
  6. holy bull

    holy bull Active Member

    One thing the McCallum story did for me was revive the memory of how I first found out about it, from the smirking guy behind the counter at a convenience store. "Didja hear Len Bias died?", like it was the funniest thing in the world.

    Hate to say it, but I found out about 911 in pretty much the same way. Dude needed a fist in the face.
  7. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    This story hits home on several fronts because I know one of the young basketball players who was there partying with Bias and am an acquaintance of someone who knows Tribble. McCallum's story was pretty much on target and accurate. It was a zoo and UM has never really gotten over it.
  8. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    Obviously, we can never know for certain what kind of a pro Bias would have turned into. However, I think the fact that the Celtics, the NBA's dominant franchise for most of the previous 30 years, did not win another title for another 22 seasons – never really even came close – plays into the mythology of the Len Bias story.
  9. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Yeah, it a huge factor. But one thing is for certain, if you saw Len Bias play, you saw someone very special.
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