Yesterday Dave Bing was sworn in as the 62nd mayor of Detroit (here’s the list of Detroit Mayors). Wikipedia’s page on Dave Bing notes that he was a seven-time All-Star for the Detroit Pistons from 1966 to 1975. He was rookie of the year, is in the Basketball Hall of Fame, his number 21 was retired by the Detroit Pistons and in 1996 he was named as one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of all time.
In 1980 Bing founded Bing Steel which eventually became the Bing Group, a supplier of materials and parts to the automotive, appliance and furniture industries. The Bing Group company history on Funding Universe presents a side of Dave Bing that few might know:
During the off-season, Bing worked for National Bank of Detroit, where he moved from teller to branch manager over a seven-year span, and then later participated in the Chrysler dealership training program. These jobs helped him learn the respective trades as well as supplementing the relatively modest wages he earned from basketball in the pre-free agent era.
In 1978, after Bing had finished out his playing career with short stints as a Washington Bullet and Boston Celtic, he began to look for a new job back in Detroit. Rejecting the familiar but no longer inspiring fields of banking and auto sales, he examined an offer from Pistons owner Bill Davidson to work as a public relations representative for Paragon Steel, a company Davidson co-owned. The steel business intrigued Bing, and he convinced Davidson to let him train at Paragon to learn every aspect of it. After working for two years in a wide variety of different departments, he left with plans to found his own company.
…began his first full day as mayor Tuesday addressing immediate crises and ongoing ones, wooing General Motors Corp. to stay in the Renaissance Center and laying groundwork to revive talks to expand Cobo Center.
Bing said he’d spoken with “one of the top execs” of the company to sell them on Detroit. The mayor did not identify that executive, but on Monday he described GM CEO Fritz Henderson as a “friend.” .
“The response has been, ‘We are in Detroit,’ ” Bing said of his conversation with GM. “What I can say from a leadership standpoint is that Detroit will do everything in its power to make sure they’re competitive so that whatever decisions that will be made by any business, we can retain.
Definitely Bing walks into one of the toughest jobs in America – here’s hoping that he displays the same quiet excellence as a mayor that he did as an NBA player.