Sport: An Empty Dream: Len Bias dies at 22

Len Bias dies at 22

One day he was drafted No. 1 by the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association, what he called a "dream within a dream." The next day he made a lavish deal to wear Reebok shoes. On the third day, he died. No dream is emptier than death at 22, but the cruel death last week of Len Bias, the All- America from Maryland, got crueler. Cocaine was implied, maybe an experimental first taste. Friends considered even that unthinkable, but if the substance found in his car and system was cocaine, then in some dazzling order more rapid than a heartbeat,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!