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Excerpt — Dave Bing

The unlikely beginning of a legendary NBA career

The imminent threat of bankruptcy gave Bing license to demand dramatic cutbacks, especially in the city’s pension and health care commitments to city employees.

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A player ready to make his mark in a city ready to explode

The Detroit that first welcomed Bing in the fall of 1966 after the Pistons tabbed him with the second overall selection in that year’s NBA draft was a smoldering powder keg. What would become Bing’s adopted hometown was already in trouble.

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The toughest test yet for Detroit's iron-willed mayor

Now, on November 16, 2011, Bing faced perhaps his most daunting task. The city under his command was spinning in a cauldron, a creature of its own political hubris and fiscal neglect. And it was sure to get a lot hotter for everyone—the mayor included—before it cooled off.

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