On this day: Bias dies; Carlisle drafted; Carr hired as coach; Boston trades back for Tatum

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On this day in 1986, Len Bias, the Boston Celtics’ selection with the No. 2 pick of the 1986 NBA draft, died just two days after his selection.

Bias, a highly-rated 6-foot-8 small forward out of the University of Maryland, returned home from the June 17 draft in New York City and went to a party at his alma mater. He and several friends used cocaine for several hours, triggering a fatal arrhythmia. The loss devastated the family, friends, Celtics and the wider basketball world. It was a major catalyst of a two decade decline for the Celtics.

They did not win another championship after Bias’ death until 2008.

Maryland Terrapins forward Len Bias (34) blocks a shot against Duke Blue Devils guard Johnny Dawkins (24) during the 1984 ACC Championship at the Greensboro Coliseum. The Terrapins defeated the Blue Devils 74-62. Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

It is also the date of the 1984 NBA draft, in which the Celtics took two players of note. The first was Michael Young, a 6-foot-7 small forward drafted out of the University of Houston.

He never played for the Celtics but managed to carve out a career for himself overseas, with short stints playing for the Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers before landing a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers in 1989-90, his last in the NBA.

Rick Carlisle #34 passes to teammate Kevin McHale #32 of the Boston Celtics against Tree Rollins #30 of the Atlanta Hawks during a game played in 1986 at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

The Celtics also drafted a 6-foot-5 shooting guard out of Virginia by the name of Rick Carlisle. Fans today typically know him as a recent head coach of the Dallas Mavericks, but he played five seasons in the NBA as a player, three of which with Boston.

He won a championship with the team in 1986 (and made a bit of an awkward cameo in Michael Jordan’s “Last Dance” documentary) while averaging 2.2 points and 1.1 assists per game with the Celtics.

From left are, Jan Volk; M.L. Carr; Auerbach; team owner Paul Gaston and Stephen C. Schram, Vice Chairman of the Board of the Boston Celtics. AP Photo/Susan Walsh

Boston also hired, on this date, M.L. Carr as head coach, a job he held for two seasons with a team he also played for in the 1980s.

Carr’s tenure as head coach for the team (1995-1997) was the effective low point in Celtics history. The 1996-97 season produced the worst win total in Celtics history with just 15 wins.

Carr resigned at the end of that season, leaving with a 48-116 coaching record, the worst winning percentage (.293) in franchise history.

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, it is also the day in 2017 that then-team president Danny Ainge traded the top pick for the No. 3 pick owned by the Philadelphia 76ers, which the club used to draft Jayson Tatum three days later.

The deal netted Boston another first-round pick that was used on Romeo Langford for the trouble of taking the player Ainge would have selected first anyway.

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