What if Len Bias didn't die after the 1986 NBA Draft?
One of the most tragic and unexpected deaths in pro sports history. Former Maryland Terrapin All-American basketball phenom Len Bias died from a cocaine overdose just a day after being drafted second overall by the reigning champion Boston Celtics. We came to the consensus that Bias was the best baller to never play in the league and if you checked out his 30 for 30 you can see just how much of a difference maker he was. Many of the games wisest projected Bias to be a larger verision of Michael Jordan with the tools to be an all time great and help the aging Celtics remain relevant. Without his addition the Celtics had some playoff success (lost to the L.A. Lakers in the 1987 Finals) but didn't hoist the Larry O'Brien trophy until 2008.
What could've been: It'd be foolish to say the Celtics would have won the next three titles post getting Bias, but considering the Celts made it to the Finals the next year without him it's clear to us a title was within reach. Due to a trade that sent Gerald Henderson to the SuperSonics, Boston nabbed Seattle's first round pick in the 1986 Draft. That pick ended up being Bian who would give the team the young legs they desperately needed. We think the Celtics could have added at least one more title to their already league leading 17 if Bias panned out as many expected him to. Would he have been on Jordans level? Probably not. Bias could however helped to make the Celtics a much more relevant team in the East as Bird progressed into retirement.