Posts Tagged ‘Red Auerbach’

No. 2 NBA Pick

November 7, 2013

Celtics Draft a Star

After NBA Commissioner David Stern announced Bias as Boston’s pick, the crowd roared. The newest Celtic uncoiled his long, lean frame from his arena seat, walking slowly as he approached the stage, smiling. Someone handed him a Celtics cap. Cameras flashed as he shook Stern’s hand. A couple of minutes later, during his first comments in a television interview, Bias was asked by former NBA star Rick Barry why he wanted to play for the Celtics. “They’re a good team and they got, uh, good, uh, supporting players,” he said sheepishly, stammering a bit as he toyed with the Celtics cap. “I can go up there and sit on the bench and whether I go in and play or not, and I learn a lot from, ah, the players there or learn a lot from playing myself.” Barry asked him if he could accept the role of being a benchwarmer for a while. Bias chuckled and said, “I guess I’m gonna have to.”

Asked where he needed to improve, Bias said, “Well, I think I need to improve more on my ball-handling and my all-around play.” When Barry made some closing comments at the end of the interview, Bias smiled before peering to the side and biting his lip. Later, he said the first thing he wanted to buy was a Mercedes-Benz automobile. As for the Celtics, they felt they already had their prize.

“He’s going to be a star someday, no question about it,” Auerbach said in an interview from Boston. “He gives us a lot of support. He can play some guard, he can play some forward, he can play a power forward, a quick forward. He is the best athlete, in my opinion, in the whole draft, and he’s going to really help this ball club. … He’ll get his playing time. … We’ve had guys sit around for a while. Except in this particular case, he’s gonna play. In fact, he’s ready to play now. Larry Bird said if we drafted this kid, he’d even come to rookie camp. He’s very high on the kid. He’s the guy we wanted, and we got him.” Bias seemed to accept a reserve role as a Celtics rookie. “I’m ready to take the role of a learner now,” he said in the Boston Globe the day of the draft. “I can learn from great players here.”

Bias_cover_pngExcerpted from the book, Born Ready: the Mixed Legacy of Len Bias

Learn about the Born Ready Project that teaches life skills, using Len’s legacy as a teaching tool.

BornReadyLogo_Finalv2b (1)

50 for 50 – Len Bias’ Golden Moments #15…Staying Put

October 14, 2013

Bias Chooses to Stay at Maryland for His Senior Year

Bias enjoyed a trio of post-season accolades in 1985: He was voted ACC Player of the Year, all-ACC and a third-team All-America, offering sweet redemption for not being named all-ACC the previous season and creating a swirl of speculation that he might enter the NBA draft the following summer. But on May 2,

Bias settled the uneasy nerves of Maryland fans and coaches by saying he would indeed stay in College Park for another year. His decision came after coach Lefty Driesell requested that his good friend Red Auerbach talk to Bias. Auerbach dined with Bias and his parents and all agreed that he would return to Maryland.

Auerbach, of course, had told Bias after the previous summer that would do everything he could to make him a Celtic, but the Celtics had the 20th pick of the 1985 draft, and certainly Auerbach must have known the chances were slim that Bias, as the ACC Player of the Year whose upside still featured plenty of positive growth potential, would still be available.

In a Boston Globe story published the day after Bias died, Auerbach detailed his dinner discussion with Bias. “I told Lefty when he set the dinner up I would tell the kid the truth, and not to expect me to tell the kid to go back to Maryland for his final year if I did not think he had anything to gain by going back as a senior. When we met, I told Len how I felt. I told them that if he came out in the draft, he would not be drafted in the top 10. I thought he would go around 15th. I told him, on the other hand, if he stayed in school for another year, he would be one of the top choices in the draft, certainly in the top seven, putting him in the lottery, and that we might have a chance to get him. He told me he would love that. He would love to play for the Celtics.”

Bias_cover_pngExcerpted from the book, Born Ready: the Mixed Legacy of Len Bias

Learn about the Born Ready Project that teaches life skills, using Len’s legacy as a teaching tool.

BornReadyLogo_Finalv2b (1)