I came across this on Yahoo yesterday regarding a statue for Len Bias to be erected at Northwestern HS, where Bias played his HS ball. The proposal has since been withdrawn:
According to the Washington Post, Maryland state senator Victor Ramirez has withdrawn his proposal to build a statue of Bias at Northwestern High School due to concerns over the message it would send to students. Erecting the statue would have required $50,000 in public funds to cover the costs.Ramirez, also a Northwestern graduate, made the proposal because he feels Bias still is a positive role model for students in the area.“I grew up with a Len Bias poster in my room,” Ramirez told the Post. “He represented someone who could make it. He was one of us."I think it was a tragedy, but you can’t allow that one night to take away from who he was, what he stood for. I think he stood for giving people hope and giving kids who grew up in the neighborhood just like his hope that education, the University of Maryland — that college was possible."
As a Celtics' fan, Bias' passing still strikes a nerve with me. Some people may not be totally clear on it but the 1986 Celtics are widely-considered one of the best teams in NBA history. They just won the title, had incredibly obtained the #2 overall pick from Seattle (in a previous trade for Gerald Henderson) and select the sure-thing, can't-miss kid Bias from Maryland at #2 behind Brad Daugherty (the center was always picked first). Len even had a great rapport with Celtics' management having worked at the Red Auerbach basketball school the previous summer.
He came off winning ACC player of the year in 85 and 86 and along with Michael Jordan, were considered the two best players in the country during that time period. The Celtics would pick Len and within 48 hours he died of an overdose from cocaine, effectively killing the 1980s Celtics' quest to be the team of the decade and changing the course of NBA history from when the Celtics were the preeminent franchise. That black cloud still haunts the team even today although the recent string of good play the past few years has lifted it for some.
But this is a sensitive subject, trying to get $50,000 in public funds for someone who died the way they did. So vote in the poll, does Len Bias deserve a statue? And comment why!
tb727 2/28/2013 11:47:00 AM Tweet