Athletes assuming larger-than-life personas because of their impressive skills and the feats they perform and surprise even the best people. However, occasionally, it is not difficult to receive a sobering reminder about how life really is.

We do not hesitate to cheer the athletes when performing for their teams, and therefore, it becomes essential for us even to cheer them after they have passed off. The number of NBA stars who passed away during their prime leaving behind a void which could never be filled are many. We are presently looking at NBA stars who passed away during their prime who we believe left the world too soon. 

Len Bias 

len biasMany of us never had an opportunity to witness the greatness of the 22-year-old University of Maryland star Len bias and how he would have fared in the NBA. A couple of days before Len Bias was drafted by the Boston Celtics in 1986, Len passed away because of a cocaine overdose.

The thought of Len who was considered one of the greatest players in the history of the Atlantic Coast conference being a member of the team which included Larry Bird, Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale had already sent shivers down the rest of the NBA. The anti-drug laws and the NCAA regulations were thereafter made stricter after Len had passed away. ESPN homicide a documentary titledWithout Biasin 2009 to provide a view of Len’s life and impact. 

Reggie Lewis  

Reggie Lewis was the guard of Boston Celtics and in the middle of a great career when he collapsed and passed away during the summer of 1993. Reggie who was 6’7and weighing 195 pounds had completed a campaign during which he averaged 20.8 points in every game.

Everybody else is calling this ‘Reggie’s Team’ and that’s fine with me. It’s just another challenge I have to face, and I look forward to it. – Reggie Lewis

Reggie was set to be a franchise player for the Celtics as an All-Star in 1992 during the post-Larry Bird era. The sudden passing away of Reggie was a result of a structural heart defect, and the 27-year-old was displaying signs of heart problems a few moths earlier when he collapsed during the first-round playoff series for Boston against the Charlotte Hornets. The Celtics decided to retire Reggie Lewis’s jealousy number 35 at a ceremony during the 1994-95 season.

Manute Bol  

Manute_260x361Bol had a massive frame of 7’7while weighing 200 pounds and was considered as one of the unique talents within the history of the NBA. Manute excelled at shot blocking and was a master of this art. He had a career average of 3.3 blocks for every game, which was ranked at the second best of all time and his presence in the lane repeatedly forced the opposing teams to rethink their offensive strategies. Manute completed his NBA career with 2086 blocks and just 1599 points.

Manute was a generous individual, and his impact was recognized far beyond the basketball court as he regularly used his money and fame to support his country Sudan. Bol passed away in 2010 because of renal failure at the age of 47 by which time he was also managing a basketball school after ending his NBA career. One among his numerous students within the school is the current Chicago Bulls star, Luol Deng. 

Dennis Johnson 

Boston Celtics stars Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parrish often received a major share of the credit for their success within the NBA but it was unlikely for them to succeed without the help of Dennis Johnson. Dennis had already led the Seattle Supersonics to a championship in 1979 before joining the Celtics in 1983.

He was regularly referred to as DJ and the 6’4point guard assumed the role of a playmaker and defensive specialist. Along with his time in Seattle and Phoenix, Dennis was successful in getting included in the NBAs all-defensive team consecutively for nine seasons. Johnson also has been called the best backcourt defender of all time by the legendary Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson in 1991. Johnson had assumed the role for scouting, and coaching and was 52 years old when he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest in 2007 when he was coaching Austin Toros of the NBA D-league. 


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