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YouTube Gold: Dave Bing

An overlooked great

Boston Celtics vs. Detroit Pistons
BOSTON - 1968: Dave Bing #21 of the Detroit Pistons moves the ball up court against Sam Jones #24 of the Boston Celtics during a game played in 1968 at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. 
Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

Dave Bing came to Syracuse in 1963 and was an immediate star. This was Syracuse before the Big East, much less the ACC, and proved too be a transcendent talent. He was taken #2 in the 1966 draft, behind Michigan’s Cazzie Russell. Duke’s Jack Marin went #6.

Incidentally, his roommate at Syracuse is still with the basketball team: Jim Boeheim came in 1963, roomed with Bing for a time, and never left.

Despite suffering an eye injury when he was a child that permanently affected his vision, Bing had a terrific NBA career, playing from 1966-78 and making the All-Star team seven times.

After he retired, he started Bing Steel and was ultimately named the National Minority Small Business Person of the Year by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. He was also elected mayor of Detroit in 2009 but took office at Detroit’s nadir and it was just about impossible for this man, who triumphed at just about everything he attempted, to succeed.

That doesn't take away from his accomplishments on or off the court. He’s had a major impact in everything he ever did.