This is my first blog post on this site. Today I'm going into local DMV sports from the 1980's. As many of us that watched college basketball growing up in the Washington area, Len Bias, out of Northwestern High School, was one of the best basketball players to come out of the University of Maryland. I had the privilege of watching Len play in person and he was the best I ever saw. Even on tv he was great. His freshmen year he posted decent numbers but by his sophomore year his numbers improved and showed the extraordinary talent that made him great. It has been a debate for years that he could have been better then Michael Jordan if he played in the NBA. He was that good. There is no doubt that the Boston Celtics would have won more championships if Len had lived to see it playing along sides Larry Bird. The Celtics took him second overall in the 1986 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, Len overdosed on cocaine in his University of Maryland dorm room three days after being drafted by the Celtics. Cocaine was the drug of the 1980's and Len wasn't the only victim of an overdose. However, his death was a tragedy and spiraled the Maryland basketball program for years until Gary Williams turned it around. It took Maryland almost thirty years to retire Len's number 34 into the rafters of Comcast Center. The Boston Celtics retired jersey number 30 in Len's honor and is the only person with a retired number by not actually playing for the team. I thought I honor Len with this post because this week was the 35th anniversary of his death.
Next History Blog will be on the Shake and Bake Sergeants of the Vietnam War in which my dad was one of them. See you then.