30 Years in 30 Days: Day 17- Escalated Spending

While Len was poised for greatness he also made some dubious decisions leading up to his death.  Bias' spending escalated only three days after he received a $15,000 loan. According to a source who saw Bias' financial statements, the following withdrawals were made from his account:

•    April 10: cash, $500.
•    April 10: check, $382 to the University of Maryland for parking fines.
•    April 15: check, $1,850 to purchase one-year, $1 million accident and death insurance policy.
•    April 24: cash, $600.
•    April 24: check, $645 to Dollar Rent A Car for two-week rental of a 1985 AMC Cherokee jeep.
•    May 7: check, $643.60 to Dollar Rent A Car for two additional weeks' rental of jeep.
•    May 7: check, $867 to Anton Leasing of Rockville for Nissan 300ZX; amount included a $500 deposit.
•    May 13: cash, $250.
•    May 20: cash, $600.
•    May 21: check, $367 to Anton Leasing for Nissan.
•    May 21: charge, $65 for American Express Gold Card membership.
•    May 23: cash, $300.
•    May 23: check, $4,240.57 for one-year auto insurance policy.
•    June 13: check, $400 to agent Bill Pollack for repayment of $500 loan from Ben Coleman. (Pollack said he tried unsuccessfully to collect the additional $100.)
•    Total expenditures: $11,710.17.

Although Len Bias owned a '76 Olds Cutlass, his father James Bias said he did not object to the rental of the Jeep--until he learned it was costing his son about $320 a week. "I told my son that you'd be better off getting a lease," Bias said. "So he went back and talked to (Advantage) and leased the Nissan." Agent Lee Fentress said he had recommended Bias rent rather than commit to a monthly lease "in the hope that we were able to finalize an endorsement agreement" that would have provided Bias with the use of a car.

James Bias said he didn't object to the leasing of the Nissan--until after his son's death, when he learned the cost of the insurance. "To my thinking, it was way out of line," Bias said. Fentress said: "That's the going rate. . . . Our personnel here shopped it and that was the best price they came up with."

Fentress said that in mid-May he had a "long chat" with Bias, "telling him that his spending was excessive" and that he should curtail it. "I remember a couple of times when Len had, I thought, pretty sizable bills for a veterinarian for some dog or dogs he had," Fentress said. "I asked him if those were all necessary. He said, 'Yeah, I've got to do this. But I'm spending a little bit too much, and I'll slow down.' "

17 Seasons Before: 1969-70, Celtics fail to qualify for playoffs
17 Seasons After: 2002-03, Celtics lose in Eastern Conference Semifinals

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