Death at the Wing

3. Len Bias and the Crack Panic

April 7, 2021

A cocaine overdose claims the life of collegiate superstar and ‘can’t miss prospect’ Len Bias before he ever plays in the NBA for the Boston Celtics. This causes a moral and political panic. Weeks after his death, the Reagan administration, with overwhelming Democratic support, passes the "Len Bias Law," installing mandatory minimum sentences and a system that prioritizes incarceration over rehabilitation. As one writer put it, Len Bias became the “Archduke Ferdinand of the total War on Drugs.” Want to get in touch? Email us [email protected] Death At The Wing is hosted by Adam McKay (The Big Short, Vice, Succession) and produced by HyperObject Industries and Three Uncanny Four. Jody Avirgan, executive producer and editor, Raghu Manavalan, senior producer, Brian Steele, producer. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit neither hosts nor alters podcast files. All content © its respective owners.