I wrote an article the other day about the twenty-year anniversary of the death of Len Bias. In that piece, I tried – probably unsuccessfully – to describe just how good he was in college. Well, thanks to Bill Simmons’ latest piece, I now have a way to show you. YouTube (a fantastic website) has a great five-minute video of Len Bias highlights. A few in particular you should look for:
- The infamous Carolina dunk. In the midst of single-handedly upsetting the Heels in Chapel Hill (in what would be their first-ever loss in the Dean Dome) Bias hits a long jumper and then promptly steals the inbounds pass and throws down a nasty reverse dunk. It was one of the greatest I’m-going-to-win-this-game-myself-and-there’s-not-a-damn-thing-you-can-do-about-it moments I’ve seen in college basketball.
- The black and white picture of Bias going up for a rebound. Check out the muscles throughout the guy’s body! And remember, this was years before basketball players started bulking up. His build was extraordinary in those days.
- The shot-block at about the 3:15 mark of the video – look where his hand is!
As an added bonus, check out this other Bias clip on YouTube. It’s another UNC-Maryland game, this time in College Park. Bias has his shot blocked by Sam Perkins and then Michael Jordan goes the other way. MJ punctuates the fast break with his infamous rock-the-cradle dunk that we all now recognize from his NBA days. At the time, that dunk was not only never seen before (although I think he might have done it first against Clemson), but never even contemplated. And folks will try to tell you that Jordan wasn’t awesome in college.
The ACC in the early 80’s was simply incredible.