Dave Bing – Detroit’s 62nd Mayor

Detroit Stories

Yesterday, the citizens of the city of Detroit went to the polls to elect the person who would finish serving the term of disgraced ex-hizzoner Kwamae Kilpatrick.  The race was between Interim Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr., and former Detroit Piston point guard Dave Bing. 

In a not so shocking turn of events, Bing beat Cockrel to become to the 62nd Mayor of Detroit.  Bing was the superstar of Pistons for years in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s and has gone on to become a successful local businessman. However, I wonder if the citizenry of my hometown couldn’t have, perhaps, found a better former athlete to elect.

It’s not that I am rooting for Bing to fail.  On the contrary, I am rooting for the man to succeed.  Thus far, he has said and done all the right things.  This includes putting Denise Illitch (co-owner of Little Caesars Pizza and the Tigers and Red Wings) and Freeman Hendrix (a clear thinking, popular local politician who ran for mayor in 2006) on his transition team.  He has embraced regionalization and appears concerned about the city first and himself second.  No, it’s the athletic cred that Bing has used to catapult himself into office that bothers me.

Dave Bing was an excellent player, not a great one, although he was named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary Team in 1996.  He certainly wasn’t in the same league as Michael Jordan, even though he claimed to be during the months prior to his 1990 enshrinement in the NBA Hall of Fame.   In truth, Bing was never able to take a Piston’s team anywhere near the Naismith Trophy and NBA World Title. I certainly am not putting forth the idea for Isaiah Thomas to run for mayor, after all, look what he did to the Knicks.  

However, I think Detroit Tiger great Willie Horton would be an excellent choice.  Not only did he roam the city streets during the 1967 Riots in his home uniform begging for calm but he actually played on a World Championship team; the fabled 1968 Detroit Tigers. 

All that said, good luck Mayor-elect Bing, you and the city to which you have been elected to run, need it. 


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