On June 17, 1986, Bias was selected by the Boston Celtics as the second overall pick in the 1986 NBA draft, which was held in New York City at Madison Square Garden. Red Auerbach, the Celtics' president and general manager, had dealt guard Gerald Henderson and cash to the Seattle SuperSonics for the pick in 1984. After the draft, Bias and his family returned to their suburban Maryland home. On June 18, Bias and his father flew to Boston, Massachusetts, from Washington, D.C., for an NBA club draft acceptance and product endorsement signing ceremony with the Celtics' coaches and management. Bias had discussions with Reebok's sports marketing division regarding a five-year endorsement package worth $1.6 million.
Steven D'Shawn Francis (born February 21, 1977) is an American former professional basketball player. He was selected with the second overall pick of the 1999 NBA draft and was named co-NBA Rookie of the Year (along with Elton Brand) in his first season. He was a three-time NBA All-Star while playing for the Houston Rockets. Francis also played for the Orlando Magic and New York Knicks, finishing his career with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association. He was known for his crossover dribble, driving ability, and flashy dunks. He was given the nickname Stevie Franchise.
On December 24, 2008, the Houston Rockets traded Francis back to the team that had originally drafted him, the Grizzlies, except now the team was in Memphis. This trade was for a 2011 conditional draft pick. The move allowed the Rockets to drop under the luxury tax threshold. On January 27, 2009, it was reported that Francis was waived by the Grizzlies, without having appeared in a game for them. No other NBA teams expressed an interest in Francis.
On the morning of June 19, 1986, 25 years ago Sunday, Bias suffered heart failure brought on by the use of cocaine. Just two days earlier, Bias had been drafted with the No. 2 pick by Boston out of Maryland and stardom was projected.
One pick after Bias, Washburn had been selected by Golden State. Washburn had played for Atlantic Coast Conference rival North Carolina State but was friendly with Bias. On the afternoon of the June 17, 1986 draft in New York, Washburn vowed he would visit Bias in Maryland while driving his new Mercedes back to his native North Carolina.
The death of Bias, an athletic forward, was the first and the most devastating blow to the star-crossed 1986 NBA draft. In the years that followed, three of the other top seven picks, including Washburn, had their careers derailed by drugs.