Miami Heat basketball fans got some pretty bad news this week, as General Manager Pat Riley announced that Chris Bosh's career was likely over due to recurring blood clots that sidelined him for much of last season.
Bosh, who was part of the Big Three along with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, was the last remaining member of that championship-winning triumvirate — with James returning to Cleveland two years ago and Wade now back in his hometown playing for the Chicago Bulls.
Though he has been ridiculed by cynical basketball fans, some of which couldn't take two dribbles without kicking the ball out of bounds, Bosh is a surefire Hall of Famer and one of the most versatile power forwards in the history of the game.
An All-American at Lincoln High School in Dallas, Bosh would become the first freshman in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference to lead the conference in field goal percentage since Antwan Jamison did so with North Carolina Tar Heels in 1996 . The lanky, smooth forward was hard to define, standing nearly seven feet tall while possessing the skills to attack bigger players off the dribble, post up smaller players and shoot with consistency from behind the arc.
Some derided his appearance as being similar to that of the Raptors' mascot, a predatory dinosaur. Drafted out of Georgia Tech with the fourth overall pick in the NBA draft behind LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade in 2003, Bosh would become the face of a Toronto Raptors franchise that was listing after the departure of Vince Carter.
He averaged 11.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game as a rookie, but would really turn it up after departure of Vinsanity. He put up 23 points, nine rebounds and three assists per game in a 2006 season that ended for him in March after an injury.
The following season he would help Toronto claim the crown in the Atlantic Division. After years of being criticized for not taking teams that were full of bad draft picks and veteran NBA castaways futther, Bosh signed to play for the Miami Heat in 2010 in order to go deep in the playoffs and earn championships. He was the Toronto Raptors all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocks upon his departure to South Beach.
The Miami Heat would make it to the championship to face the Dallas Mavericks, led by Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and an aging Jason Kidd. Though Bosh's numbers were admirable, they would lose to the Mavs in six.
He was visibly despondent after the loss, and prognosticators speculated that head coach Erik Spoelstra was not allowing him to use the full array of his abilities, basically making him little more than a spot-up shooter in the Heat offense.
Miami would return to the NBA Finals the following season and defeat the Oklahoma City Thunder in resounding fashion, despite Bosh's scoring taking a dip well below his season average.
Again, folks began running their mouths, questioning whether Bosh was a good fit offensively despite winning the c'hip. Creating spacing and driving lanes for Dwyane Wade and LeBron James with his accurate long-range jumper meant Bosh would be facing the basket and on the perimeter more often than not.
But some fans were blaming this on Bosh and not on team scheme. The following season, the Heat would reach the NBA Finals again, their third in a row, and bested the San Antonio Spurs in a seesaw, blood and guts seven-game series.
Despite the victory, Bosh's numbers would decrease yet again. But people weren't seeing how much he was sacrificing and how much of a team player he had become. Even when his shot wasn't falling, the lanky power forward with guard skills was still a stalwart defender and very capable rebounder.
But people don't like the blood and guts intangibles that are necessary to win titles. Ill-informed fans only see the box score. But true ball players knew what was up.
The Heat would return to the Finals for the last time in the Big Three era, but would lose to the revamped Spurs in five games. During the 2014-15 season, and following the departure of James, Chris Bosh would start the season off looking like the vintage version of himself in averaging 22 points, eight boards and two assists before being briefly sidelined in December 2014 with a strained calf.
Following the 2015 NBA All-Star game, he was hospitalized due to a blood clot on one of his lungs and didn't play for the rest of the season. He returned the following season and was back with the urgency of someone who'd left his wallet.
Voted to play in the 2016 NBA All-Star game, he would once again sit out and it was later revealed he had a blood clot in his leg.
Over the summer, Chris Bosh was very optimistic about returning to the game he loves. However a failed physical exam with the Heat meant he could not be cleared to participate in training camp.
Additional clotting meant the Heat had no choice but to do something that Bosh was very reluctant to do. Miami announced today that his career was over with the franchise.
Misunderstood for lacking both temperament and fire, Chris Bosh's legacy is cemented and the 32-year-old undoubtedly will find himself a first ballot Hall of Famer.
Through the disrespectful banter from cable sports network talking heads, Chris has proven himself to be a great teammate, humanitarian and human being. We wish him the best.
An 11-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA champion, Chris Bosh deserved a whole lot more respect than he actually got, but he didn't beg for your admiration.
His game spoke for itself.
This piece was originally published on The Shadow League.
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The NBA preseason starts October 1st, and many are wondering if the national anthem protest by players will spill over into the basketball season. The NBA has long had a rule that players must stand for the national anthem. Before Colin Kaepernick there was Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf. During the 1995-1996 NBA season, the $13 million contract-extension player told his coaches the he would no longer stand for the national anthem. Without much notice at first, Abdul-Rauf suffered no consequences for his actions based on his religious beliefs. On March 10, 1996 that all changed. Having previously been called anti-patriotic because of his stance which took place after the Oklahoma bombings, during the March 10th game Abdul-Rauf decided to sit in the middle of the anthem and the rest is history. The NBA suspended him for one game and decided that he had to stand but could pray silently in his hand while standing. Abdul-Rafur's career suffered a great blow and he never rebounded from it.
With more and more black people becoming target practice for police departments, professional sports leagues are having to find a way to respond to the way players protest. The NFL has had a tough time figuring out what to do and who to collect a check from when it comes to enforcing the stand. The NBA has decided to take a proactive approach to whatever stance and protest strategies their players may have. CBS Sports reports: "To that end, the NBA is looking to not merely deal with the aftermath of whatever protests or statements the players might make regarding these issues, but is working to actually foster a conversation in advance so that the league can support the players, but also so that it can try and prevent incidents that could harm their image or sponsor relationships."
It seems as though the NBA is willing to have a conversation about it but isn't willing to risk their image or sponsorships, so they want to get ahead of it. Coaches have stated they plan on talking to their players in the locker room about matters of this nature, and the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sent out a letter to players.
NBA & NBPA have sent the players a joint letter announcing they are working together on... https://t.co/iWsctLWRLZ pic.twitter.com/YVjJ8sy9Kg— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) September 22, 2016
As the conversation gets started in the NBA about how to handle players potentially breaking a rule that very much still exist, it will be interesting to see who is willing to take a knee or keep standing.
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With Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest gaining more traction and the NBA season right around corner, some wonder if the protest will carry to the hardwood. Just a few days ago, Oklahoma City Thunder player Victor Oladipo said he thought some NBA players will follow suit. Now, Cleveland Cavaliers star Iman Shumpert says that he’s kneeling for the anthem in his newest track, “His Story."
Shumpert’s been in hip-hop for a couple years now and to see him be a professional NBA player and an artist taking a kneel for justice does my heart well. Premiered on KarenCivil the 3-minute track has Shumpert getting personal with some of the news stories he’s been in. In the last verse of the track though, Shumpert makes it known “you best believe I’m going to take me a knee for the anthem." Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but this opens the door to how the NBA will react when the season starts. With Kaepernick receiving a polarizing response not just from the media, but from the people and league itself, it’ll be interesting to see what happens come October when the defending NBA champions Cleveland Cavaliers open against the New York Knicks.
You can stream "His Story" below.
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Champion, Olympian and actor LeBron James has decided to step into television with the announcement of a new sports medicine drama. LeBron’s SpringHill Entertainment just sold said drama to NBC. No title has been revealed yet, but it sounds like the premise involves the main character (a doctor) treating some of the best athletes in the world. After having health concerns of his own, the doctor’s approach to medicine changes.
SpringHill is the new kid on the block in the entertainment industry, as the company just recently signed a deal with Warner Bros. last year. Despite the new deal, they have a roster of experienced talent. Matt O’Neill (writer for Bait and Switch) will be writing the script with Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton (writers for the show Numb3rs). On the medical side, SpringHill Entertainment has brought on renowned orthopedic/sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews as an executive consultant for the series.
There aren’t many details out on this show, however Lebron James is making his statement clear that he’s not just trying to be number one on the basketball court, but in entertainment as well.
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Growing up in a household with a sports fanatic, hoop dreams-deflated father, I quickly learned the ins and outs of sports. I remember my father taking a keen interest in certain sports commentators, as if they told the latest sports news in a narrative that only he could understand. Needless to say, because of his love for black sports commentators like Ahmad Rashad, Stuart Scott and John Saunders, I too found a way to connect with their storytelling and moments captured. The death of Stuart Scott hurt, I took it personal and so did my father. So upon learning that yet another legend has passed away, John Saunders, I began to think about all of the black men who have shared with us their love for sports through a narrative that spoke to us and for us.
John Saunders, whose had an informative style that made it easy to listen to plays and a demeanor that made you immediately comfortable with him. He started at ESPN the year I was born, so he shall be remembered as a pioneer and icon. He was one of the first television voices of the Toronto Raptors and according to Dick Vitale, "he represented everything that was good in an human being." The loss of him is felt by so many and Jemele Hill's tweet sums it up for all of us who are impacted by his death.
John Saunders was a better person than a host, which is saying something. Classy. Professional. I can't even describe his impact on me.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 10, 2016
Joining the ranks of the VIP section in heaven is Stuart Scott. When I think of him its hard not to cry, because he is the epitome of strength. He brought us stories in his own charismatic way and reported on sports while battling cancer. As much as we all praised him for being great, he never took that to heart and taught us humility. During his 2014 ESPY speech, he once again spoke words that were heart felt and inspiring: "When I first heard that I was going to be honored with this reward, the very first thing that I did was, I was speechless, briefly. I’ve presented this award before...I get it. I’m a public figure, I have a public job, I’m battling cancer, hopefully I’m inspiring – at my gut level, I really didn’t think that I belonged with those great people. But I listened to what Jim Valvano said 21 years ago. The most poignant seven words ever uttered in any speech anywhere. ‘Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.’ Those great people didn’t. Coach Valvano didn’t. So, to be honored with this, I now have a responsibility to also not ever give up."
So to these legends, I say thank you. In a world where black men and women are constantly used as just numbers on a roster or target practice for police departments, you reminded us that we belong amongst those who are great. You teach us that giving up is not an option. You gave us the confidence to do the impossible on and off the court. For people like me who can barely dribble a ball but love the game, you gave us a narrative that says our story is more than enough and its worth reporting.
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Foot Locker did the unthinkable in their latest commercial. Michelle Williams, formerly of Destiny's Child, joins Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors and retired NBA champion Horace Grant, to drop some major keys about "standing out."
Grant mistakes Michelle for 'the help' and what happens next will leave you on the floor.
All some of us could do was say "wow."
WOW foot locker went there 😂 https://t.co/oJ2FYtoaOU
— #ViewsFromTheGrits (@MichellCClark) August 9, 2016
Some think that Michelle took an L with this one.
They really played Michelle Williams lmfao https://t.co/QOd4SvZjME
— Frank White. (@fioyb) August 9, 2016
Y'all are dead ass wrong for this @footlocker 😂😭 https://t.co/4GOW5nM9Zc
— Taryn Finley (@_TARYNitUP) August 9, 2016
And others are praising her!
THE Michelle Williams will get these checks and y'all can stay mad. lol pic.twitter.com/6qnxWU44Wn
— chuck[ie] (@iGiveNoChuck) August 9, 2016
Michelle Williams is like the James Jones of music, salute to her, keep cashing those checks.
— BlackSportsOnline (@BSO) August 9, 2016
Get that check Michelle, you the GOAT!
Watch the full commmercial at the top!
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While it's been rumored for a good while now, it's official that 2017 All-Star game will not be in Charlotte, North Carolina. The move by the NBA is all thanks to the state's controversial anti-LGBT legislation known as House Bill 2. The bill forbids transgender individuals from using the bathroom for the gender they identify as, among other things.
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical first reported the news, followed by an announcement from the NBA and the Charlotte Hornets.
The NBA issued the following statement today regarding the 2017 NBA All-Star Game pic.twitter.com/2yo1YDA2Un
— NBA (@NBA) July 21, 2016
ESPN is reporting that sources have told them that the NBA is reaching out to multiple cities to take the game over. Wojnarowski says New Orleans is now the league's focus for a location, and Las Vegas is also being explored.
The league hopes to reschedule the game in the city by 2019, which leads us to assume that they hope the law is repealed by then.
Michael Jordan and the Hornets released a joint statement, which reads: "We understand the NBA's decision and the challenges around holding the NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte this season. There was an exhaustive effort from all parties to keep the event in Charlotte, and we are disappointed we were unable to do so. With that said, we are pleased that the NBA opened the door for Charlotte to host All-Star Weekend again as soon as an opportunity was available in 2019. We want to thank the City of Charlotte and the business community for their backing throughout this entire process, starting with the initial bid. We are confident that they will be just as supportive and enthusiastic for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game."
Until the law is repealed, this could be the first of many sporting events, among other activities, to be pulled from the state and one of the nation's largest cities.
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I've played enough 2K My League mode to understand one thing – basketball can be a dirty game. Even though I always make the most terrible decisions in the offseason (because I'd be a terrible GM), shaking up the league is always my aim. And some people think that D. Wade and LeBron are doing the same thing right now.
It's safe to say no one (except Golden State) is happy about the Durant deal.
Most of all is King James. KD has joined the Warriors in an effort to form a Voltron-like championship-winning machine. What future opponent would be happy about that?
And thus (according to the TL) a plan was formed.
Remember nothing is official before July 7th pic.twitter.com/I6UJ628DPn
— BallersHype (@BallersHype) July 7, 2016
This is all some next level stuff. If true, not only does this mean that Bron and Wade are so shook about the new Warriors that they hatched this up, but also that they are the NBA kings of petty. What kind of grown men sit around with their baes, sipping tropical drinks and ruining the plans of other men? What part of the game is that? I honestly don't believe this is true, but I have been informed that this scenario could be legitimate. Those things could actually happen. And if they do, it will be soon because today (July 7th) is when paperwork gets signed.
Is LeBron James' petty level over 9000? Will Russell Westbrook ever recover from the abrupt and bitter end to his near-decade-long bromance with Kevin Durant? Is the timeline really just reaching like always? Find out next time on: Basketball Z.
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The 2015-2016 NBA season will be remembered for numerous reasons. There was literally no better way for the season to end than with a Game 7 in Oakland with the NBA’s rising young talent versus the league’s most prolific player.
From D’Angelo Russell breaking guy code to Russell Westbrook’s dance moves, this NBA season was off the charts! I could probably list 100 reasons why this NBA season was one of the best ever, but here are 5 reasons why this season was extra lit.
1. The best dunk contest ever
I’m not crazy. And I know that in February during the All-Star Weekend we saw the greatest NBA dunk contest ever! Sorry Mike, sorry Dr. J, sorry Dominique and sorry Vince – Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon put on a show. Even though Zach took home the trophy, the fans were the real winners! Hey Zach, three-peat?
2. Steph and the Warriors
There’s no shade you can throw on a back-to-back MVP winner with the best regular-season record in NBA history. No matter how you want to frame it, winning 73 games is far from easy. But every night we watched Steph and the Warriors battle the best competition in the world. Salute!
3. Kobe’s farewell
I told myself I wasn’t going to cry when I got to this part, but the tears are flowing. Every away game Kobe played this year was actually another home game. Fans from across the world traveled to see the Mamba one last time. And Kobe delivered a finale only a legend could give us. Thanks for being you, Kobe!
4. Durant & the off-season
Although the NBA season was one to remember, the off-season was nothing short of amazing, too. With a new salary cap and players jumping ship faster than ever, only a superstar like Kevin Durant could make the biggest and boldest move. After nine exciting years, Durant has decided to join the historic Golden State Warriors. And although your favorite team might be overpaying a Russian center, Kevin Durant is looking to make the NBA his playground.
5. LeBron takes the crown
There’s not much else to say. LeBron, Kyrie and company charged back from 3-1 to do what no team has ever done before. And it doesn’t stop there; the King led the entire championship series in every statistical category – put some respeck on that man’s name!
What’s going to happen next year? Will the Cavs repeat? Will Durant finally get that ring? Will Westbrook rip the league to shreds? Is Ben Simmons the real deal? Whatever happens, let’s hope next season takes the league to a whole new level.
Tell us your favorite moment from the 2015-'16 NBA season in the comment section below.
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Kevin Durant's surprising decision to sign with the Golden State Warriors set off a sea of explosive reactions, most appropriately on July Fourth. What a way to exercise freedom on Independence Day. Durant broke the news about the tough decision to leave the OKC Thunder by writing about the experience in The Players' Tribune with a post titled, "My Next Chapter".
In the essay, Durant described the emotional journey writing in the opening line, "This has been by far the most challenging few weeks in my professional life."
"I will miss Oklahoma City, and the role I have had in building this remarkable team. I will forever cherish the relationships within the organization — the friends and teammates that I went to war with on the court for nine years, and all the fans and people of the community. They have always had my back unconditionally, and I cannot be more grateful for what they have meant to my family and to me."
The deal becomes official Thursday when free agents sign their new contracts.
Kevin Durant agrees to 2-year, $54.3M deal with @warriors (2nd year - player option) pic.twitter.com/jbcuR5BuEJ
— NBA TV (@NBATV) July 4, 2016
Pretty classy, Kev. He opted for the transparent route out of respect for his teammates and longtime fans. Seriously, KD could have easily let the ink dry and not said a word publicly until preseason workouts. Through his authentic message, you would think the public would leave well enough alone.
OKC fans resorted to arson because that solves problems.
honestly... the jerseys are so ugly you don't need an excuse to burn them. https://t.co/rnNLFsK61j
— Casey Campbell (@caseybannerman) July 4, 2016
@KDTrey5 smh made me burn my only jersey.😢 pic.twitter.com/aylN2fA1dC
— Ty (@tmed22) July 4, 2016
Y'all dumb asf if you think I'm about to burn a jersey. 😤 pic.twitter.com/8JARnZ8qwf
— Keith Drapeau (@KDTrey00) July 4, 2016
There was also the passive-aggressive route.
OKC fans ain't playing with KD no more...they ain't even burn his jersey fam jus gave it back🙃🙃 pic.twitter.com/uSEEo1fOAp
— Respek My Name (@papajudah_) July 4, 2016
Fans weren't the only ones disappointed. Stephen A. Smith executed the best Stephen A. Smith temper tantrum to date.
Don't give a damn what anyone says: weak move by KD. You go to GSW, the team who beat you, when you're already on a title contender? Please!
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) July 4, 2016
Stephen A Smith has the answers. pic.twitter.com/ELVrH8VVPQ
— Nick (@NickTheBullsFan) July 4, 2016
I heard my friend @stephenasmith call it the weakest move ever by a superstar. FWIW, I never disrespected SA when he left Philly Inquirer.
— Mike Wise (@MikeWiseguy) July 4, 2016
.@KDTrey5 winning a title with GSW would be like losing your virginity to a hooker. Congrats! #legacy
— Andrew Heaney (@Heandog8) July 4, 2016
This means the Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant love story is over.
LMAO 😂😂😂😂 #kevindurant #russellwestbrook pic.twitter.com/hQMEJKid9j
— TheColi.com (@THE_COLI) July 4, 2016
Why are ya'll like this?
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have broken up.https://t.co/KV7Sz6ovfS
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 4, 2016
OKC 😂 pic.twitter.com/jFs7PdZi8Y
— Josh (@Dynamitejimi) July 4, 2016
As of now, GSW fans seem to be the only people not complaining...for now.
The Bay LIT af right now 😂 pic.twitter.com/vWGaha6u5Q
— TheColi.com (@THE_COLI) July 4, 2016
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When summer's out, it's definitely time to play! That's exactly what NBA BFFs Lebron James, Chris Paul and Dwayne Wade are using this extra time to do. They're spending their much deserved vacation traveling off the coast of Mallorca, Spain with their beautiful wives, and sharing some tidbits of turn-up and black love all over Snapchat.
As the vacation began, preparations were made to ensure that it would be one that no one would be able to forget. These days, no function is complete without a custom Snapchat geofilter, and James used a viral photo from his crew's turn-up last year as the inspiration.
The couples, Lebron James and Savannah Brinson, Chris Paul and Jada Crawley and Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union, soon got settled and wasted no time getting into the water and inviting us in on the fun via social media.
Wade's snap story & geo filter😂 pic.twitter.com/hcuLqxtWMR
— OTN (@OnlyTheNBA) June 29, 2016
Then the drinks started flowing...
Dwyane Wade likes to have a few drinks with his friends, just like us! pic.twitter.com/3dSRuHr6py
— Alysha Tsuji (@AlyshaTsuji) June 29, 2016
UPDATE: They're playing Heads Up. No banana boat ... yet. pic.twitter.com/4B2FMHCWsP
— Alysha Tsuji (@AlyshaTsuji) June 28, 2016
An informal dinner turned into a minor version of Trap Karaoke as the couples belted out hip-hop and R&B classics around the table.
Gabrielle Union takes us through dinner with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, & CP3. #AndTheirWives #Cavs #Heat #Clippers pic.twitter.com/2tvOK10vsp
— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationNet) June 30, 2016
What happened next proved that these celebs party just like we do on vacation. LeBron put on his own show, no one could resist a good line dance and black love was flourishing all over the place.
LeBron James, Chris Paul, & Dwyane Wade enjoying their time on a boat. #BrothersForLife pic.twitter.com/kFokuD9RbW
— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationNet) June 30, 2016
No, really. The love was definitely on another level.
Here's how Dwyane Wade's snapchat story ended last night. Never give up your dreams, kids. https://t.co/ELQr3peEE9
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) June 30, 2016
Gabrielle Union showed us once again why everyone wants to be her best friend when she proved she could hang with the boys.
Gabrielle Union singing Fetti Wap with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James on vacay. #cavs #heat #teammates? pic.twitter.com/j8OHoCyxJo
— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationNet) June 30, 2016
Then gave us this impression of Desiigner that was so on point, you couldn't help but laugh.
Gabby killed the 🐼 impression at the end tho pic.twitter.com/uXibKweAqg
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) June 30, 2016
This is definitely what squad goals look like. As the summer vacay continues on, stay on top of all the shenanigans by adding Lebron (kingjames), Gabrielle (GabUnionWade), Dwayne (mrdwyanewade), and Paul (cpiii) on Snapchat. You may find a little inspiration for your next summer getaway.
Where do you want to travel to on your next summer adventure? Share your destination picks in the comments.
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30 years ago, on June 19, 1986, one of the greatest basketball players who never competed in the NBA died: Len Bias. He succumbed to a cocaine overdose two days after he was selected as the second overall pick in the NBA draft by the Boston Celtics. He met his maker a couple of months before I was born. He played basketball at the University of Maryland, College Park, which is just a few minutes away from where I would eventually go to elementary school. Even though our paths never crossed, I have long been fascinated by the trajectories of his leaps, life and legacy. In particular, Bias was powerless to tell his life story, and a pernicious prescription was instead written in his name for a national public health issue. Tragically, the silence of Bias’ voice was used to intensify the inhumane "war on drugs", which continues to this day.
I'm not sure when I first heard or read about Len Bias, but I know that his name was often mentioned in the same breath or on the same page as Michael Jordan. He was supposed to join Larry Bird and help the defending champion Boston Celtics add to their already jaw-dropping legacy.
Unfortunately, reality has its lips sealed as to Bias’ potential basketball rivalries because the dynasty of cocaine dramatically altered the way that we remember NBA last names.
On his back, Bias carried into the mainstream the dangers of a plague that can make people flirt with their final four hours even before they ever reach their sweet sixteens.
Sadly, Bias lost his battle with the primary opponent of his greatness, and he was unable to treat his biography as a living, breathing document which he could personally adapt to his evolution as a player and a man. Thus, as is the case with many individuals who died too soon, the story of Len Bias is full of hypotheticals.
Because Bias would have been in his prime in 1992, basketball fans may wonder what it would have looked like if Larry Bird had given Bias an alley-oop pass on a Dream Team fast break during the Summer Olympics that year. Because Bias was going to endorse Reebok, economists may wonder how much wealth Bias could have accumulated if he had became an iconic brand like Air Jordan. Because Bias was from Prince George’s County, Maryland like myself, I specifically wonder what type of impact Bias might have had if he had decided to spearhead an initiative similar to the LeBron James Family Foundation-University of Akron partnership and thereby helped thousands of local low-income students attend the University of Maryland, College Park. Additionally, because Bias was unable to survive his drug use, some might also wonder what types of drug policies a sober Bias might have advocated for in hindsight.
Looking back at what actually took place, the absence of Bias’s voice was translated into a harsh law that has wrecked havoc on people in the D.C. area, which Bias called home, and myriad other communities throughout the nation. Bias’s death was used as fuel for the passage of the federal Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, a.k.a. 'The Len Bias Law.' Thus, instead of trying to address the poverty that leads many human beings to deal drugs as a source of income and/or use drugs as a means of coping with pain, mandatory minimum sentences were used as decade-seeking missiles in the war on drugs.
Essentially throwing people away, especially people of color, does little to defeat the drugs that can rob NBA teams of their stars, parents of their sons, and human beings of their own dreams. This seems especially clear in light of the questionable motivations of the war on drugs and the more compassionate, treatment-driven response to the current heroin epidemic.
If we really want to honor Len Bias, the man who was never able to take a walk in his own shoes because of drugs, then perhaps we should address the crippling lack of opportunities that props up much of the drug trade in the first place.
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