What is the Len Bias case?

2 Answers | Add Yours

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The Len Bias case was a convergence of sport celebrity and popular culture finding one common link:  The dangerous problem of drug usage.  As previously noted, Bias was a great basketball athlete from Maryland.  He dominated the Atlantic Coast Conference with his play at a time when one Michael Jordan was also in the conference.  Bias was selected to go to the Boston Celtics as their first round pick.  He was seen as the heir apparent to dynasty started by Kevin McHale and Larry Bird.  Red Auerbach, then General Manager of the Celtics, believed in Bias and the sky was the limit to Bias' reach.  One night changed all of this when Bias and his friends were partying with cocaine.  Bias had very little, but it was enough to cause him to go into cardiac arrest.  Bias' death through the recreational use of cocaine woke up a slumbering nation that believed that drug use was something contained in only the darkest and most dank corners of American cities.  Len Bias was a clean cut, marketing executive's dream with talent to match.  If he fell to drug use, if he proved to be mortal, anyone could. In response to the Bias case or in convergence with it, there was more public outcry and legislation that made drug use and possession of drugs result in a greater legal penalty.  The Bias case pointed to drug use amongst athletes, both college and professionals.  In the end, the case of Len Bias ends up becoming one of a many in a sad procession of what could have been and what might have been to be taken away by poor decision making.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Len Bias was an extremely good basketball player back in the 1980s.  He played for the University of Maryland.  In the 1986 NBA draft, he was the second person picked.  He was picked by the Boston Celtics who were really good in those days.  They were expected to become even better with him on the team.

But he died of a cocaine overdose the day after the draft.  As far as a case goes, I assume you are talking about the prosecution of various of his friends for selling him the cocaine.  So far as I know, there was nothing special about this case legally.  It is just that this was a hugely famous athlete who died at a very high-profile time and in a high-profile way.

We’ve answered 317,431 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question