Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SU Basketball Legend Returns to Talk Business

Dave Bing told an audience of SU alumni and students he still has orange in his blood during an appearance at the Whitman School of Management today. The former standout Syracuse guard spoke during the school's seventh annual "Whitman Day" for more than 45 minutes about his experiences at SU, politics, and of course, basketball.

See, Bing is now the mayor Detroit, a city reeling from the recession. He walked to the podium after being introduced by Melvin Stith, the dean of Whitman.

He didn't have notes or anything prepared, but Bing opened up with a joke about the daughter of his communications director. She's thinking about coming to SU next year and Bing encouraged her to do that.

Bing spoke at length about his decision to come to SU. The head basketball coach, Fred Lewis, recruited him only a season after the team lost 27 consecutive games.

"I knew I couldn't fail here because they had nowhere to go but up," Bing joked. "I was playing for a perennial loser."

Bing played four years at SU and he was Syracuse's first consensus All-American in 39 years during his senior season. But, he became a star in the NBA playing primarily for the Detroit Pistons.

"I learned something in the NBA that I often tell younger players in the league," Bing said, "You can't insulate yourself from the real world."

The conversion turned from basketball to politics when Bing discussed his political career.

Elected to complete former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's term, which ended when he resigned as part of a plea agreement, Bing has since been reelected and is working to cut the city's $325-million deficit.

As for his future plans, Bing says he's just enjoying his newest challenge: healing Detroit.

(photo courtesy of

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