June 8, 2020

Former teammates, coaches share memories of Len Bias

Edith Noriega

ESPN anchor Rece Davis on Tuesday opened up “SportsCenter Special: Remembering Len Bias” with memorable stories and moments shared by those who knew him inside-out. Scott Van Pelt and Charles “Lefty” Driesell forever remembered June 19, 1986, the day Bias’ tragic cocaine death just two days after being drafted by the Boston Celtics, but he was bigger than his sudden death. Driesell, the former Maryland head coach, said he knew Bias as a simple man. “He is in heaven,” Driesell said. “He went to church, never drank a beer.” Pelt, alumni of the University of Maryland, never got a chance to play ball but knew Bias as “everybody’s favorite player.” Pelt never did forget pacing around after learning about Bias’s death in front of a 7/11 in Pennsylvania alongside his brother’s best friend. But what I found more shocking was the feeling he felt “floating back to the dorm” during the aftermath of his death. ESPN commentator Michael Wilbon, who covered Bias during his first two years at Maryland, said he has never stopped “missing Bias” and his jumpshot, which Wilbon described — “it was like art.” What if’s can sometimes eat me up inside, and when Wilbon said he could see the Bias and Michael Jordan comparison, I knew the Chicago Bulls “three-peat” run could have been very different. I knew Bias could have been among Celtics greats like Larry Bird and Bill Russell.

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