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Book of Basketball 2.0


Book of Basketball 2.0

7. “It Just Feels Like Loss” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Wed, 14 Jul 2021
In the finale, we examine how the passing of time has changed the way we process the memory of Len Bias, what his death meant to the city of Boston and the Celtics franchise, and why his story lingers for sports fans and non-sports fans alike.

Host: Jordan Ritter Conn
Producers: Hannah Beal, Isaac Lee, Noah Malale, and Bobby Wagner
Production Assistant: Isaiah Blakely
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6. “Who Can You Trust?” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Wed, 07 Jul 2021
By the summer of 1986, America’s relationship with drugs was already at the brink of combustion. And in the highly publicized death of Len Bias, policymakers found a spark to light the flame. The draconian legislation introduced on Capitol Hill thereafter, especially the ratification of mandatory minimum sentences, disproportionately targeted Black citizens — one of whom, ironically, was Len’s childhood friend.
Host: Jordan Ritter Conn
Producers: Hannah Beal, Isaac Lee, Noah Malale, and Bobby Wagner
Production Assistant: Isaiah Blakely
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5. “Someone Had to Pay” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Wed, 30 Jun 2021
Despite the ongoing Brian Tribble investigation, there was still a question the press and public had no answer for: Who was to blame for the tragic cocaine intoxication of Maryland’s star basketball player? The spotlight shifted to Maryland University and the man who had built the basketball program up in his image: Lefty Driesell.

Host: Jordan Ritter Conn
Producers: Hannah Beal, Isaac Lee, Noah Malale, and Bobby Wagner
Production Assistant: Isaiah Blakely
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4. “They Weren’t Grown Men” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Wed, 23 Jun 2021
Before the fallout from Len Bias’s death could ripple through society, the facts surrounding the night of his death had to be established. So why was that so difficult? In this episode, we examine Brian Tribble’s trial on charges of cocaine distribution, the public’s need to assign immediate blame for Bias’s death, and the ensuing chaos caused by that need.

Host: Jordan Ritter Conn
Producers: Hannah Beal, Isaac Lee, Noah Malale, and Bobby Wagner
Production Assistant: Isaiah Blakely
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3. “One Time, I Was Gone” | What If? The Len Bias Story

Wed, 16 Jun 2021
In this episode, we examine the life and career of Spencer Haywood, a basketball Hall of Famer and one of the sport’s biggest stars of the 1970s. Haywood spent the latter half of his career battling a cocaine addiction at a time when the league lacked both an understanding and a policy for how to deal with a growing drug problem. We explore the climate around cocaine in basketball in the lead-up to the mid-'80s, and how that climate informed the public’s reaction to Len Bias’s death.

Host: Jordan Riter Conn
Producers: Hannah Beal, Isaac Lee, Noah Malale, and Bobby Wagner
Production Assistant: Isaiah Blakely
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