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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/27/2023

Offered is a crystal-clear original portrait photo of University of Maryland star forward Len Bias during NBA Draft night on June 17, 1986. Taken #2 overall by the Boston Celtics, the 6’ 8” Bias is pictured in portrait form grinning from ear-to-ear wearing a Celtics cap shortly after being selected.

The next day, Bias and his father flew to Boston for a team draft acceptance and product endorsement signing ceremony with Celtics coaches and management. Bias had discussions with Reebok's sports marketing division regarding a five-year endorsement package worth $1.6 million. Upon returning home late that evening, Bias drove back to the U. of Maryland campus in College Park for one last hoorah with his college buddies. By 6:30 a.m. the next morning, Len Bias was pronounced dead at the age of 22 from a cocaine overdose, just two days after being drafted by the Celtics. It remains one of the worst tragedies in sports history. One of the most talented players in college basketball history, a two-time ACC Player of the Year, never got a chance to show what he could do at the next level.

The striking close-up shot of Bias' cheery face at his most joyful moment was used by the Boston Herald and has the newspaper's stamp on the back crediting photographer Jim Mahoney. The condition of this 8” by 10” original photo is near mint, and it’s the only known example. Encapsulated PSA/DNA Type 1.

Significant June 17, 1986 Len Bias Boston Celtics NBA Draft Day Original Photograph – PSA/DNA Type 1
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $400
Final prices include buyers premium.: $853
Number Bids:7
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