June 15, 2020

Bias’ death leaves questions unanswered forever

Joseph Salvador

When Michael Wilbon joins a Zoom call, you pay attention to every word he says — especially when you’re an aspiring sports reporter. And when the Chicago native says Len Bias was supposed to rival Michael Jordan when he entered the league, that’ll get your attention. Admittedly, I knew very little about Bias before watching the Sports Center special on the late All-American. It soon became abundantly clear that Bias was well worth the hype. As an NBA nerd, I couldn’t help but wonder what could have been if Bias had lived, and if he’d played up to the hype in the pros. I think the 1980s and ’90s were the best eras of basketball, and I would have loved to see what Bias could have done with an all-time Celtic team. Not only that, would Jordan have been as dominant if he had a true rival throughout his career? Would the Bad Boy Pistons have won their back-to-back championships? Questions like that ran through my mind during the one-hour special. And then Bias’ former coach at Maryland, Lefty Driesell, spoke about who Bias was as a person. Driesell referred to his former player as a great kid and said he knew Bias was in heaven. Driesell recalled how otherworldly Bias was on the court and how human he was off of it. Overall, this special informed me on one of the most talented young players to ever play the game, but it also left me wondering what could have been.

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