Call this a wish list to publishers. Of course it's true that’s there hardly any major sports star who hasn’t already achieved hardcover immortality a time or two or more. So why check back in with some already familiar sports luminaries? With the passage of time comes fresh perspectives on playing days, teammates, and rivals. And maybe even a little more honesty.
So here goes, in no particular order: the Monitor’s Top 10 sports figures we’d put in the publishing on-deck circle.
Why profile Bing:
Bing fuses three life stories in one, the first as an athlete, the second as a businessman, and the third as a politician.
With no previous political experience, Bing ran for and won a special 2009 election to fill the unfinished term of Kwame Kilpatrick, whose scandal-impelled resignation led to a jail sentence. Bing stepped in to rescue the city where he enjoyed his greatest success as an NBA player with the Pistons. His basketball life alone merits a book.
In high school in Washington, D.C., he succeeded Elgin Baylor as a star at Springarn High School, then went on to Syracuse University, where he led the team in scoring for three years and was once the roommate of current Syracuse coach, Jim Boeheim. His connections to the school led him to speak recently to assistant coach Bernie Fine, an old friend who is facing accusations of sexually molesting boys. (Fine told Bing he was innocent).
In the NBA, Bing was named one of the league’s 50 greatest players of all-time during its 50th anniversary celebration in 1996. While playing for Detroit, he was turned down by the National Bank of Detroit for a home loan but was offered a management trainee position during off-season, which he accepted. After retiring from basketball, he started a steel-fabricating business that supplied parts to the Detroit auto industry and grew to 500 employees.
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