“I’m blind in one eye. I wasn’t about to let my opponents know it.”
Basketball Hall of Famer Dave Bing
Dave Bing recently revealed that he lost sight in one eye after suffering an injury at age five. Dave Bing was a seven-time NBA All-Star. Bing was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year during the 1966-67 season. The following year, Bing led the NBA in scoring, averaging 27.1 points peer game. Dave Bing played most of his career with the Detroit Pistons. He finished up with the Washington Bullets and Boston Celtics. Bing was the MVP of the 1976 NBA All-Star game. Dave Bing was an All-American at Syracuse University and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990.
I can still hear the public address announcer at Cobo Arena shouting, “Bingo”, whenever Dave Bing made a field goal. Dave Bing was not flashy. He was fundamentally sound, and he was a terrific player! Bing could shoot from the outside or penetrate and score or “dish off” and pick up an assist. Bing excelled both as a scorer and a passer, and he also excelled in the business world in his post-playing days. He founded Bing Steel and it grew into The Bing Group. Dave Bing was so well respected that he became Mayor of Detroit. He recently started the Bing Youth Institute.
I take you back to the spring of 1966. The two best basketball players coming out of College were Cazzie Russell from the University of Michigan and Dave Bing from Syracuse University. The Detroit Pistons and New York Knicks had the worst records in their respective divisions and they were to flip a coin that would determine who picked first. Since Cazzie Russell was a Michigan man, the Pistons wanted him badly. I mean they really, really wanted him! The Knicks won the toss and decided to draft Cazzie Russell. The Pistons had to “settle” for Dave Bing. Bing became the much better player of the two and then accomplished so much in the business world in his post-playing days, and was so popular in Detroit that he became Mayor. The lesson here is that sometimes when you think you have lost – and I mean the Pistons could not have felt any worse about not getting Cazzie, you might be wrong. It is incredible that Dave Bing achieved so much as a player while seeing out of only one eye. Dave Bing overcame so much, and is a man of great accomplishment.