NBA Legend Dave Bing Transforms $15K Rookie Contract into a $300M Empire Despite Career-Ending Injury

Dave Bing was a prolific NBA scorer who played for the Detroit Pistons, Washington Bullets, and Boston Celtics in the 1960s and 1970s. The Pistons selected him second overall in the 1966 NBA Draft, and his first professional contract was for $15,000 per year.

According to Talk Sport, his successful NBA career included signing three-year contracts worth $500,000 with the Bullets and $450,000 with the Pistons. Bing was very responsible with his cash because he had huge plans for retirement. As part of his pre-retirement strategy, he spent his offseasons with the Pistons reading and learning about banking and deal-making while working for a bank in Detroit. His NBA career was cut short when he was notified that his retina had become partially detached.

After retiring from the NBA, he worked for Paragon Steel, earning $35,000. After two years, he quit the corporation to start his own business, thus beginning his entrepreneurial path.

In 1980, he started Bing Steel with $80,000 saved from his NBA career and a $250,000 loan. However, after only six months of operation, he lost all of his money. After transitioning from production to processing, the company attracted clients like as General Motors, resulting in Bing Steel’s exponential growth.

It expanded to become one of the largest African-American-owned industrial enterprises in the United States, with an annual revenue of $61 million.

Bing relaunched the company as The Bing Group, which provides metal stampings to the automotive industry. The self-made industrial magnate established a factory in one of Michigan’s impoverished communities to provide local jobs for residents.

He also purchased Superb Manufacturing, a $28 million-per-year metal stamping company, and a minor construction firm. However, in 2009, he sold his company, which generated $300 million in yearly sales and employed over 1000 people.

He did this so that he could focus on politics. He was originally elected to serve out the term of previous mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who resigned, and then re-elected to a full term in November 2009. He chose not to run for reelection in 2013.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan awarded him the National Minority Small Business Person of the Year. In 2009, he earned the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award for his efforts to civil and human rights, as reported by TalkSport.

Bing’s NBA career began when he was picked by the Pistons, and in his first year, he was an instant success, winning the NBA Rookie of the Year award in 1967.

His outstanding performance earned him seven NBA All-Star Game appearances and the MVP award in 1976. Furthermore, Talk Sport reported that he averaged more than 20 points and six assists every game.

However, his successful NBA career was cut short due to an eye injury sustained as a child. He was five years old when he apparently slipped and accidently pierced his left eye with a rusty nail. Following that, Bing experienced hazy vision in that eye, and he retired after the 1977-78 season due to developing visual problems. He scored 18,327 points and dished out 5,397 assists before retiring, and the Pistons retired his No. 21 jersey.

He was later inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and named to the NBA’s 50th and 75th Anniversary All-Time Teams, with legends like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and LeBron James.

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