Monday , Sep , 01 , 2008 Oly Sandor

Len Bias and Reggie Lewis would’ve written great chapter in Boston Celtics’ history

They were supposed to follow Larry, Kevin, and Robert. And they were supposed to keep Boston competitive and away from the rebuilding projects that kill franchises. But tragedy struck. Twice. Len Bias, the green-and-white’s second overall pick in the 1986 draft, died from a drug overdose without ever playing an NBA game, while Reggie Lewis passed away in 1993 from heart complications …

Len Bias and Reggie Lewis would've written great chapter in Boston Celtics' historyEvery Tuesday, HoopsVibe The Blog will hit rewind and celebrate the past. We call it ‘Reminiscing’ …  

They were supposed to follow Larry, Kevin, and Robert. They were also supposed to keep Boston competitive and away from the painful rebuilding projects that kill franchises.

But tragedy struck. Twice. Len Bias, the green-and-white’s second overall pick in the 1986 draft, died from a drug overdose without ever playing an NBA game, while Reggie Lewis passed away in 1993 from heart complications.

Without this duo, the Boston franchise struggled. The clips below illustrate how special this pair was (first up is Bias, then Lewis).


After Lewis’ death, the Celtics sputtered from 1994 until 2001. They drafted average talent like Eric Montross. They signed an aging Dominique Wilkins as a stopgap measure. Rick Pitino, fresh off his NCAA Titles with Kentucky, accepted a coach-executive position but had mediocre results after not getting the draft picks he wanted.  

Eventually, Walker and Pierce enjoyed some success. However, their teams were never real contenders, failing to get past the Eastern Conference and unable to compete with the top teams of the Western Conference. Only last season’s championship exercised the demons of Bias and Lewis’ passing.

After all, Bias had the athleticism to complement those great Celtic squads of the eighties. When Bird and friends were hitting retirement, he would’ve been hitting his prime.

Don’t be fooled by Lewis’ soft voice and kind manners. The man was a straight assassin, capable of scoring from anywhere on the floor and a deserving heir to ‘The Hick From French Lick’.

Together, Bias and Lewis would’ve erased the disaster of the nineties and written another chapter in Boston’s storied history. Yes, Len and Reggie would’ve been special.

Just how good were Bias and Lewis? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts and return to HoopsVibe The Blog for another edition of ‘Reminiscing’ and more NBA NBA tidbits. Photo courtesy of the vining.