The Disappearance Of Bison Dele

On July 6, 2002, former NBA player Bison Dele, girlfriend Serena Karlan, French boat captain Bertrand Saldo and Dele’s brother, Miles Dabord, left port in Tahiti. Dele, Karlan and Saldo were never seen again and Dabord would die in a San Diego, Calif. area hospital on September 27 of that year after being found in dire straits on a Mexican beach some days prior. Over 11 years later, the case remains a mystery. Given the lack of witnesses, the truth might never be uncovered by the authorities. But what little evidence the case has produced points to Dabord killing Dele, Karlan and Saldo and several weeks later, taking his own life.

The life decisions that led Dele, Karlan and Dabord onto the boat that day have come into focus thanks to Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated. The account includes Dele’s decision to walk away from the NBA during his prime, the strife between Dele and Dabord and the emerging love between Dele and Karlan. It’s a sad but riveting story.

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