In September of 2008, then mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick resigned amidst controversy involving an affair with his Chief of Staff while in office. After he lied during trial, Kilpatrick was sent to jail – of course leaving the city of Detroit, Michigan without a mayor. But with such a prolific case, there was no way Detroit was going to go down without putting a big name in office; enter none other than Detroit’s own Dave Bing.
If you are a fan of the Detroit Pistons basketball franchise or even just a fan of the NBA in general, you probably already know who Dave Bing is. A seven time all-star, Bing spent the majority of his years from 1966-1975 playing basketball for the Detroit Pistons; and he was named one of the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players of All Time in 1996.
Now 65 years old, Dave Bing is still highly admired and well-respected in his community – as was demonstrated in January of 2009 when Bing was honored with the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award. Established in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., the award celebrates athletes who are involved in both civil and human rights, and honors the achievements that these individuals have made.
But this isn’t a complete surprise to Detroit residents, or those who follow the local political scene. It was on October 16 of 2008 that Dave Bing announced his candidacy for the mayoral election of Detroit, and in a 15-candidate primary finished first. On May 5, 2009 Dave Bing was elected mayor of Detroit with 52.3 percent of the vote over Kenneth Cockrel, Jr. Bing was sworn in on May 11, 2009, and will finish out Kilpatrick’s term until the end of 2009.
As you can see, both basketball fans and members of the Detroit community are welcoming their new mayor with open arms, embracing this is a great opportunity and a chance to turn around their neighborhoods for the better. And in a city that is seeing the foundations of some of their largest industries crumble right before their eyes, there is perhaps no city that needs a boost like this more than Detroit, Michigan. Whether or not Bing will run once he finishes out Kilpatrick’s term is unknown – and of course nobody can predict exactly what the future will hold for Detroit or any other city. But one thing is for sure – Dave Bing is going to be the mayor in town for at least the remainder of the year.