When I get in conversations with people about college players of the past, often we start talking about the best players we ever saw in College. Being an ACC man, I have a lot from which to choose. But I swear to God above, I don't believe I can say enough times, I believe that Len Bias was the most dominant and gifted player I ever saw in the ACC - bar none. I cried like a baby when I heard of his death, and I was abut to turn 21 in a couple weeks. Such a tragedy. I believe he would have accomplished wonders in the NBA. And his death set the Boston Celtics back for years. He ws just what that team needed in the late 80's, and they could not find a replacement for a long long time.
Len did it all year long. But the greatest memory is from the Tourney. The ACC Tourney makes legends. And I will never remember one any more vividly than watching him absolutely take on a magnificient UNC team and basically take them on 1 vs 5, and beat them. Anyone who saw that game can probably remember it like yesterday. That UNC team had how many players that went on to really good Pro careers?Well, actually just 2 - Brad D and The Jet. I thought there was a 3rd, but I was mistaken. But that UNC team was great. And he just whipped them. Greatest performance I can remember, not just because of his stats, but because of the level of competition he did it against. And when you hear some of those ex-UNC players now talking about College days, and they start talking about Len Bias, you can see the level of respect they have for his ability. They just shake their heads and say "he was unbelievable, he was just a force we could not stop". And then you can see the sadness in their eyes as they follow it up with "and then he died, and it was one of the greatest tragedies in college sports."
I know many will say there were others better, and they have good arguments. David Thompson was one of the greatest, no doubt about it. Some Va fans still think if you speak only of College careers, you have to say Ralph Sampson. I know there were greats over the years. But for my money, I say Len Bias was the greatest player to have played ACC basketball - ever.
God Rest His Soul.