In one day all of one man’s dreams came true, and in one night all those dreams came spiraling down with a silent crash. I think about his friends with whom he spent his last hours with, and the nightmares that must have followed after helplessly watching their friend die at their feet. I think about his family who lost so much good fortune and, more importantly, a nephew, a cousin, a brother, and a son. I also think about the game of basketball. It lost a great player that day. Some believe he was going to be it’s greatest yet.
Len Bias was the greatest player to never play the game, it’s brightest star to never shine. Cocaine had, once again, robbed the world of a truly one of a kind treasure. There has been a bit of poetic justice to come from this story, however. Bias’ mother has told stories of people who have randomly come up to her at the market or in the street telling her of how her son’s death has helped them kick their cocaine addiction. Seeing as how the story was told all over the nation, it wasn’t just locals who responded to it in this way.
I have been affected by this story in a similar way. Len Bias is the sole reason I have never tried cocaine. Of course it’s very rare for a young athlete like myself to have a heart attack from drugs. Bias was definitely an exception, but he was not the rule. It goes deeper than fatality statistics for me, though. The death on Len Bias showed me that everything a human being has worked for could be stripped away in an instant with the involvement of drugs. For example, there’s the similar story of Earl “The G.
O. A. T. ” Manigault, who was deemed one of the greatest basketball players New York has ever seen but never reached his full potential because of a heavy heroin addiction. Unlike Bias, Manigault is still alive today. However, he is nowhere near being in the position he could’ve been in had he not picked up his drug habit. We’re talking about a possible difference of 20 million dollars! There’s no drug on earth worth making that sacrifice for in my opinion.