City Desk

‘Without Bias': A Great Documentary Is Made About A Local Tragedy

I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news that Len Bias had died. All I can remember being told was that Bias had died after using cocaine. And that it had been his first time. It was a scary story. And it worked as a scary story. I never tried cocaine; I always cited Bias as the reason. But, of course, there's a lot more to Bias' life and death.

Thankfully, Without Bias, the moving documentary on his life, has finally been released. Unlike the recent Marion Barry doc, this one is loaded with moving interviews with all the major players from his family to the friends who were with him in that dorm room that night. No portrait of Bias comes closer to getting at the truth about Bias' cocaine use and the political impact of his death. [the tragedy played a role in the creation of mandatory minimum sentencing laws].

The documentary  had apparently sat on shelves for years. The movie's trailer has been up on youtube since February 2008. Only late last month did the movie have its premiere on University of Maryland's campus. It's now airing on ESPN. It's a must see.

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  • Woodley Parker

    Watched it last night on ESPN Classic. Brought me back to the 1980s here in the D.C. area. Lots of D.C. players in the film too, including Harry Thomas, Jr., Bruce Johnson, Steve Buckhantz and others.

  • Dave

    That clip of Len talking about looking back on his life 10 years down the road is almost too painful to watch. I don't think I'd be able to watch this doc even if I wanted to, which I don't.

  • Fred

    Harry Thomas the councilman was a b'ball player?? Bruce Johnson the sportscaster or newsperson??

    How can we watch it if we don't have cable??

  • ESPN

    It was a shock to me to see that they let Tribble get on there and act like he was just a kid using drugs with his buddy instead of a DRUG DEALER pushing his dope on campus. Nice how you came out looking almost clean Tribble... only problem is there are still those of us left who remember the real you. It's one thing to go on about your business and try to live your life in a better way, but totally another to come out years later and act like you had nothing to do with getting him to use. At the end of the day, it was his choice to use but you played a much bigger part in getting him to than you are owning up to. If you didn't want to tell it right, you should have stayed out of it. I'm Disappointed in you Tribble.