Mayor Dave Bing: Can He Stop the Slide in Detroit?

Mayor Dave Bing has been an NBA star and a steel magnate. His third career is by far his most challenging

Romain Blanquart for Time

Mayor Dave Bing

At the grand-opening celebration for Gardenview Estates, a $221 million–plus public-housing development on Detroit's northwest side, activist Leila Gregory, 51, took the podium and gushed about all the local celebrities in attendance. There was John Conyers Jr., the veteran Congressman ("You're an American idol!"), and Greg Mathis, the popular TV judge ("I just love him!"). When Gregory turned to Dave Bing — the NBA legend, steel magnate and mayor of Detroit — her demeanor changed. All she could manage was a curt "Hello, Mr. Mayor" before moving on. Not that it mattered much to Bing. A minute later, the mayor, who...

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