The biggest “what if” regarding a single player is probably Len Bias. The 6-foot-8 swingman was born not too far from where he attended the University of Maryland in Prince George’s County. After a stellar career in which he brought home ACC Player of the Year recognition in 1985-1986, Bias was drafted second overall by the historic Boston Celtics.
As Jay Bilas eloquently put it, Bias was “Superman in a uniform.” He dunked with force. He ran like a deer. He was built like a Greek god. But that was never on display in the NBA. Two days after the draft, Bias died from cardiac arrhythmia induced by a cocaine overdose in his dormitory. The world was shaken. Many knew exactly where they were when the news broke, even Bilas. An hour-long ESPN “SportsCenter” special chronicled the polarizing life of Bias before his tragic death. Dick Vitale spoke. Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski even commented on Twitter.
Bias rivaled Michael Jordan. The Celtics were coming off a championship win and with some trades, they managed to get the pick that became Bias. Just imagine Bias joining Larry Bird, Robert Parrish and Kevin McHale. Bias would’ve been a perfect fit. Now, 34 years later, we have nothing but questions. Would the Celtics have more titles? Would Bias have put a stop to Jordan’s reign? Would Len Bias have been the greatest ever? We will never know.