Dave Bing
Bing in 2012
74th Mayor of Detroit
In office
May 11, 2009 – January 1, 2014
Preceded byKenneth Cockrel Jr.
Succeeded byMike Duggan
Personal details
Born (1943-11-24) November 24, 1943 (age 79)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseYvette Bing
EducationSyracuse University
ProfessionProfessional athlete, businessman, politician
Basketball career
Personal information
Listed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Listed weight180 lb (82 kg)
Career information
High schoolSpingarn (Washington, D.C.)
CollegeSyracuse (1963–1966)
NBA draft1966: 1st round, 2nd overall pick
Selected by the Detroit Pistons
Playing career1966–1978
PositionPoint guard
Number21, 44
Career history
19661975Detroit Pistons
19751977Washington Bullets
1977–1978Boston Celtics
Career highlights and awards
Career statistics
Points18,327 (20.3 ppg)
Rebounds3,420 (3.8 rpg)
Assists5,397 (6.0 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at NBA.com
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player
College Basketball Hall of Fame
Inducted in 2006

David Bing (born November 24, 1943) is an American former professional basketball player, businessman, and politician who served as the 74th mayor of Detroit, Michigan from 2009 to 2014. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

After starring at Syracuse University, Bing played 12 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a point guard for the Detroit Pistons (1966–1975), Washington Bullets (1975–1977), and Boston Celtics (1977–78). During his career, he averaged over 20 points and six assists per game and made seven NBA All-Star Game appearances, winning the game's Most Valuable Player award in 1976. The Pistons celebrated his career accomplishments with the retirement of his #21 jersey. In addition, he was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and named to the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team and the NBA 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.[1][2]

Bing founded Bing Steel, a processing company that earned him the National Minority Small Business Person of the Year award in 1984. Soon the business grew into the multimillion-dollar Detroit-based conglomerate, the Bing Group, one of the largest steel companies in Michigan.

Bing entered Detroit politics as a Democrat in 2008, announcing his intentions to run for mayor in the city's non-partisan primary to finish the term of Kwame Kilpatrick, who had resigned amid a corruption scandal. After winning the primary, Bing then defeated Interim Mayor Kenneth Cockrel Jr. and was sworn in as mayor in May 2009. Later that year, Bing was re-elected to a full term. However, he lost most of his power to Detroit's emergency manager Kevyn Orr, had numerous health problems,[3] and suffered approval ratings as low as 14%.[4] Bing thus did not seek re-election in 2013 and was succeeded by politician and businessman Mike Duggan.

Early life

Bing was born November 24, 1943, in Washington, D.C., to mother Juanita, a housekeeper, and father Hasker, a bricklayer and deacon for the local Baptist church. He was the second child of four living in a two-bedroom, one-story house in the northeast part of town.[5] In his childhood, Bing received the nickname "Duke" from his father, because, according to Bing, he always "wanted to be top dog."[6] He suffered a traumatic eye injury at age five, when, while playing with an improvised hobby horse he constructed with two sticks nailed together; Bing tripped and accidentally poked his left eye with a rusty nail. The family could not afford emergency surgery, leaving the eye to heal on its own and diminishing his vision thereafter.[7] Bing's father also suffered a severe head injury during the boy's childhood. While working a construction site, a brick fell four stories onto his head, causing a brain clot. The episode led young Bing to promise himself that he would never work in such a profession.[6]

In athletics, Bing played basketball, but older children often told him he was too small for the game.[6] However, he played well, triumphing over such older and bigger children as future Motown musician Marvin Gaye, who, after not performing well on the court, chose to sing on the sidelines. Bing and Gaye forged a friendship, which continued later in life. Despite his basketball play, Bing, a fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson, focused primarily on baseball, the neighborhood's preferred game.[8]

Despite his fuzzy vision, he excelled in baseball at Spingarn High School,[6] where he enrolled in 1958.[9] Nevertheless, the school's head basketball coach William Roundtree encouraged him to revisit basketball. Roundtree became a fatherly figure to Bing, who decided to join the team. He developed into a double-digits per game scorer, noted for his jump shot and knack for driving to the basket.[9] He continued also to compete in baseball into his senior year, but was forced to choose between it and basketball when a scheduling conflict between two tournaments arose.[6] Though he felt he was better at baseball, Bing opted for basketball, believing it gave him a greater chance at a full-ride college scholarship,[10] well aware of the path taken by Los Angeles Lakers forward Elgin Baylor, a Spingarn alum.[9] At the tournament, Bing led his team to victory and earned MVP honors.[6] All in all, in high school, Bing was a three-year letter winner, all–Inter High, all-Metro, and all-East member. In 1962, he was featured in Parade magazine and made the All-American Team.


Bing attended Syracuse University, where he was once roommates with Jim Boeheim.[11] He led the Orangemen in scoring as a sophomore (22.2) in 1964, as a junior (23.2) in 1965, and as a senior (28.4) in 1966. During his senior year, Bing was fifth in the nation in scoring and was Syracuse's first consensus All-American in 39 years. He was also named to The Sporting News All-America First Team and was named Syracuse Athlete of the Year.

In his three-year varsity career at Syracuse, Bing averaged 24.8 points and 10.3 rebounds, with 1883 total points and 786 total rebounds in 76 games.[12]

NBA career

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Bing playing for the Detroit Pistons, c. 1975

Bing's playing style was somewhat unusual for the time. As a lean, athletic and explosive point guard, he functioned as the playmaker distributing the ball, but also did more shooting and scoring than most others who had this position. At one time a joke about him and his backcourt partner, Jimmy Walker, was that it was a shame they could only play the game with one ball at a time.

Detroit Pistons (1966–1975)

In 1966, after being selected 2nd overall in the 1966 NBA draft by the Detroit Pistons, Bing scored 1,601 points (20.0 points per game), and won the 1967 NBA Rookie of the Year Award while also being named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team. The next year, he led the NBA in scoring with 2,142 points (27.1 points per game) in 1968.

On November 23, 1968, Bing recorded a triple-double of 39 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists in a 127–128 loss to the Baltimore Bullets.[13]

Bing sat out 2½ months of the 1971–72 season due to a detached retina incurred from a preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers, playing in only 45 games that season.[11] While with the Pistons, he played in six NBA All-Star Games (1968, 1969, 1971, 1973–1975), and was named to the All-NBA First Team in 1968 and 1971.

Washington Bullets (1975–1977)

After leaving the Detroit Pistons, Bing went on to spend his next two seasons with the Washington Bullets, for whom he was named an NBA All-Star once more in 1976, this time winning the game's MVP Award.

Boston Celtics (1977–1978)

He played his final season with the Boston Celtics, averaging 13.6 points. He then retired at the conclusion of the 1977–1978 season.

Overall, in his NBA career, Bing averaged 20.3 points, 6.0 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 901 games over 12 NBA seasons, scoring 18,327 points with 5,397 assists.[12]


Bing was awarded the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in 1977.

Bing was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990.

Bing was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.

Bing was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Bing was named one of the NBA 75th Anniversary Team in 2021.

Personal life

Bing is the godfather of Jalen Rose.[14] In 2020, Bing published his autobiography titled 'Attacking the Rim'.[15][16]

NBA career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

1966–67 Detroit 80 34.5 .436 .738 4.5 4.1 20.0
1967–68 Detroit 79 40.6 .441 .707 4.7 6.4 27.1
1968–69 Detroit 77 39.5 .425 .713 5.0 7.1 23.4
1969–70 Detroit 70 33.3 .444 .783 4.3 6.0 22.9
1970–71 Detroit 82 37.4 .467 .797 4.4 5.0 27.0
1971–72 Detroit 45 43.0 .414 .785 4.1 7.0 22.6
1972–73 Detroit 82 41.0 .448 .814 3.6 7.8 22.4
1973–74 Detroit 81 38.6 .436 .813 3.5 6.9 1.3 0.2 18.8
1974–75 Detroit 79 40.8 .434 .809 3.6 7.7 1.5 0.3 19.0
1975–76 Washington 82 35.9 .447 .787 2.9 6.0 1.4 0.3 16.2
1976–77 Washington 64 23.7 .454 .773 2.2 4.3 1.0 0.1 10.6
1977–78 Boston 80 28.2 .449 .824 2.7 3.8 1.0 0.2 13.6
Career 901 36.4 .441 .775 3.8 6.0 1.3 0.2 20.3
All-Star 7 17.9 .372 1.000 2.3 2.3 0.0 0.0 5.9


1968 Detroit 6 42.3 .410 .733 4.0 4.8 28.2
1974 Detroit 7 44.6 .420 .733 3.7 6.0 0.4 0.1 18.9
1975 Detroit 3 44.7 .426 .615 3.7 9.7 1.7 0.0 16.0
1976 Washington 7 29.9 .447 .800 2.6 4.0 1.0 0.3 13.7
1977 Washington 8 6.9 .438 1.000 0.8 0.6 0.0 0.1 4.0
Career 31 31.1 .423 .748 2.7 4.3 0.6 0.2 15.4

Business career

At age 22 with an NBA contract worth $15,000, Bing was rebuffed by the National Bank of Detroit on getting a mortgage to finance a home. This led Bing to work at the bank during the offseason, holding jobs in the teller, customer relations, and mortgage departments.

Immediately after retiring, he worked at a warehouse of the steel processing company Paragon Steel and was paid $35,000. He left after two years, after stints in the company's shipping and sales operations.

Bing Steel

In 1980, Bing opened Bing Steel with four employees in a rented warehouse from $250,000 in loans and $80,000 of his own money. Losing all his money in six months, the company shied away from manufacturing to focus on being a middleman. With General Motors as their first major client, the company turned a profit in its second year on revenues of $4.2 million. By 1984, Bing was awarded by President Ronald Reagan the National Minority Small Business Person of the Year. By 1985, Bing Steel had expanded to two plants with 63 employees posting revenues of $40 million.[11] Company assets were sold off in 2009.[17]

The Bing Group

Bing Steel transformed itself to the Bing Group, a conglomerate with headquarters located in Detroit's North End. The company, among other things, supplies metal stampings to the automobile industry.

At the 1990 NBA All-Star Game, Bing received the Schick Achievement Award for his work after his NBA career.

Politics and activism

In January 2009, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Bing received the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award. The award honors King's legacy as a leader of the civil rights movement, by acknowledging athletes who have made significant contributions to civil and human rights and who helped establish a foundation for future leaders in athletic careers.[18] The honor was to be presented during the half-time show of the game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Detroit Pistons in Memphis, Tennessee.

Bing volunteered in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program.[when?]

Mayoral election

On October 16, 2008, Bing announced that he would be a candidate for the Mayor of Detroit in the 2009 Detroit mayoral special election. He finished first in a 15 candidate non-partisan primary on February 24, 2009. On May 5, 2009, the top two vote-getters faced off and he defeated interim Mayor Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. and was elected to complete former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's term, which ended December 31, 2009.[19] Kilpatrick had resigned as part of a plea bargain agreement after being charged with the crime of perjury.

Mayoralty and re-election

Bing was re-elected to a full term on November 3, 2009.[20] He announced on May 14, 2013, he would not run for re-election.[21] During his term as mayor of Detroit, the city became the largest city in U.S. history to declare bankruptcy.[22]


  1. ^ "NBA at 50: Top 50 Players | NBA.com". www.nba.com.
  2. ^ "NBA 75th Anniversary Team announced". www.nba.com.
  3. ^ "Dr. Frank McGeorge explains Detroit mayor Dave Bing's health problems". ClickOn Detroit. Archived from the original on December 17, 2013. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  4. ^ Walker, Marlon. "Poll: Detroiters unhappy with city services and those in charge". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  5. ^ Sharp, p. 15-18
  6. ^ a b c d e f "NBA.com: Dave Bing Bio". National Basketball Association. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  7. ^ Sharp, p. 19-21
  8. ^ Sharp, p. 21-23
  9. ^ a b c "Dave Bing Motor City Mayor". JockBio. Black Book Partners. 2009. Archived from the original on November 25, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  10. ^ Sharp, p. 21-22
  11. ^ a b c "OTL: 'No Place To Go But Up'". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Dave Bing Stats". Basketball-Reference.com. Archived from the original on September 10, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  13. ^ "Detroit Pistons at Baltimore Bullets Box Score, November 23, 1968". Basketball-Reference. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  14. ^ "Q+A: JALEN ROSE". Slam Online. August 7, 2014. Retrieved May 23, 2021.
  15. ^ Stitt, Chanel. "New book 'Attacking the Rim' details Dave Bing's triumph over obstacles". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  16. ^ Bing, Dave (November 2020). Dave Bing: Attacking the Rim. Chicago, Illinois: Triumph Books. ISBN 9781629378473. Retrieved February 20, 2022.
  17. ^ "Bing Group workers say company has been sold, they've been fired but can reapply". MLive.com. November 13, 2009. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  18. ^ "Memphis Grizzlies to honor Julius Erving and Dave Bing as part of the Seventh Annual MLK Jr. Day Game and Celebration". National Basketball Association. December 22, 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  19. ^ "Detroit mayor candidate Dave Bing retracts claim of having MBA – ESPN". ESPN.com. March 11, 2009. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  20. ^ Davey, Monica (November 3, 2009). "Dave Bing Wins Election to Full Term as Detroit Mayor". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2012.
  21. ^ "BING WON'T SEEK RE-ELECTION AS DETROIT MAYOR". AP. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
  22. ^ Williams, Corey (July 19, 2013). "In Despair, Detroit Files for Bankruptcy". The Express. Washington, D.C. Associated Press. p. 3. Retrieved July 19, 2013.

Further reading