Twenty-five years ago today, the Boston Celtics picked local college star Reggie Lewis with the second to last pick in the 1st round of the NBA Draft. The year before, the Boston Celtics were on top of the world. They'd just won the 16th world championship in team history (and 40% of the NBA's total championships at the time) and they drafted Len Bias with the 2nd pick of the 1986 NBA Draft.
Len Bias had already signed an endorsement deal with Boston area sneaker company Reebok and Larry Bird himself was going to pick him up from Logan Airport & bring him to Hellenic College were the Celtics trained. Before any of that could even happen, Len Bias died tragically & unexpectedly. This event not only changed the future of an NBA franchise but the entire league as a whole.
"Len Bias even used to outshine a young Michael Jordan back when he played for North Carolina."
Keep in mind that respected coaches like UNC's Dean Smith and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski have both gone on record in recent years saying that Len Bias was widely considered the best all around player in the entire ACC during the 1980's. If you look back at the caliber of players the ACC produced in that decade it's akin to being called the greatest MC in New York during the first Golden Era of Hip-Hop. Len Bias even used to outshine a young Michael Jordan back when he played for North Carolina. Let that fact marinate.
Len Bias was going to a veteran team with a great coach in K.C. Jones and five future Hall Of Famers in its eight-man rotation. He would've played and defended multiple positions and with his work ethic, unselfishness, shooting touch, court vision, passing ability, speed and athleticism he would have brought a new dimension to the Celtics' offensive & defensive game plans.
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Photo: NBA, Wire