A highlight from 'Death At The Wing'
You Hey a wanted to share with you. A clip from a new podcast. I actually think donald fans are really going to enjoy. It's called death at the wing. It's hosted by adam mckay. He's director of big short vice executive producer succession. Lots more friend of dave anthony in the eighties and nineties. There are a lot of promising young basketball players who died and this podcast series exports their deaths and also how their deaths reflected on a really quickly changing country in society. It's a serious about basketball. It's all so serious about ronald reagan and the societal transformation of what he was doing and it's a decade that we don't talk about the eighties so what year about to hear is from the episode about len bias who was a potential nba superstar and he died of a drug overdose just days after being drafted by the boston celtics. I was in high school. That hit me really hard. His death sent shockwaves around the league. But it also led to a moral panic about drugs and drug laws and they're still in effect today so take a listen. Death at the wing is the best athlete in my opinion in the whole draft. And he's going to really help this ballclub. The celtics hadn't just picked a good player. They'd secured their future. Larry bird was just months shy of his thirtieth birthday. This was an error where longevity was based on how many packs of cools you smoke today and kevin mckell hit entered the league looking like he was thirty eight years old and played a bruising physical style of play. Same thing with robert perish and most of their lineup. This was a tough team that plenty of bangs and bruises on them so the celtics needed jolt of energy and youth to secure their next generation of championship rings and that was going to be len bias. See things like this. Just didn't happen in sports. You don't get to win a title and draft a superstar in the same year not without cutting some sort of deal with the devil. Auerbach's name was read. That's uncalled for. I'm sorry the auerbach family. Not in any way implying. He worship the devil but the point is everyone wanted. A piece of len bias. Even the local bigshots can calling for their photo. Op tip. o'neill ted kennedy. John kerry a veritable holy trinity of boston. Politicians had read our back on the phone with an hour's begging for their states newest superstar to pay them a visit at the capitol. Bias may have just become a celtic but he was already being town royalty. As a matter of fact you know. Larry bird said that of we draft bias. He's gonna come up to the rookie camp that's right. He does very very high on bias. As casey was and jimmy. And they're all high on and he's the guy we want it we got was a surefire thing and you know he never plays the game after land got drafted he did what any kid on the brink of millions of dollars would do you partied with his friends and in the nineteen eighties. It wasn't really a party unless you had a big old bag of cocaine. And so then took part. He was the horse after all. What was a little bit of below for a freak athlete like in fact that was reportedly the last thing whenever said as he leaned over for one more line. I'm a horse. I can take it. He never played the game and came to boston. He did his press conference in any went back to maryland and party with friends and did make it to the next morning by the time the seizure started is friends realized. Something was very wrong. Name is what's the problem up. Local success story took a tragic turn this morning. Len bias wasn't irregular cocaine user but in the end that didn't matter is death sent shockwaves through the league and the country for that matter. Len bias the maryland university basketball star on his way to becoming a world champion boston. Celtic died of an apparent heart attack. Today at leland memorial hospital in prince george's county debut wasn't the first player to use drugs far from it but he was the first of his stature died from them. During the age of cable tv the media was louder and bigger than ever before everybody was looking for blood like all right who we going to blame for this. He was just twenty two years old. What the hell it happened. And my thought was i get that but this do made the choice to do all this cocaine in killed them and now everyone else has to pay again. I'm not advocating drug use but it was just such an overreaction. Accusations were everywhere. Some claimed lens. College coaches knew about rampant. Drug use in the program. Listen the other way others pointed a finger at the buddy brought the drugs that night suggesting he was really trying to get. Lynn hooked before the big payday. I just thought this is a horrible horrible tragedy and it felt to me like by overcompensating. You're you're affecting a lot of other people's lives in a very adverse way. The worst whispers ones that traveled the farthest and did the most damage were that len bias was freebasing crack devastating rumor that took root and spread like wildfire. A specialist in sports medicine speculated. What could have occurred either. He was a novelist who was exposed to larger doses. Then he could tolerate four. Somebody substituted crack a very potent form and he thought he was getting lower doses than he was given a finding by the medical examiner on the cause of death may take more than a week. He wasn't using crack but it didn't matter to most because crack had become the racial scare word of the decade. right up there with welfare queen. Even the name of the new drug was perfect for historical headlines crack. It was the perfect drug for america. The fast food nation an immediate rush highly addictive cheap and easy to mass produce. This is the typical tiny bottle for the new illegal drug of choice in america. Crack everything every single news story seemed to be about crack and how it was going to sneak into your little kids bedroom at night and steal their innocence. Vials like this one are turning up empty and discarded in the streets in the parks in the schoolyards and many of the people who use crack are turning up with blown minds and blown bank accounts and worse. Hope you enjoyed that clip if you want to catch the full episode search for death at the wing wherever