Remembering Mr. Davidson....

Posted by Bob Biscigliano in ,

As I'm sure you all already know, longtime Detroit Pistons owner passed away a few days ago. This was a great loss for the city of Detroit for not only everything he did as owner for the two Detroit basketball teams, but everything he did for the city of Detroit itself. Mr. Davidson was a tremendous man, amazing sports fan, and admirable philanthropist.

I didn't know him personally, but I'm sure Bob Biscigliano and Bill Davidson would have gotten along really well. Mr. Davidson, like Bob Biscigliano, was a big fan of the underdog as he would purchase struggling, almost dead-end, businesses and turn them around into prosperous 'winners.' He did that for the Pistons in 1974, despite being told not to; and has helped them win three NBA titles, built them a still state of the art facility in 1988, and was amongst one of the first owners in sports to buy a team airplane for traveling to and from games.

In 1999, he bought a struggling seven-year old NHL team, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Just five years later, the Lightning won a Stanley Cup.

He was the owner of the WNBA team, the Detroit Shock who have added three championships to his resume. One came in 2004, when Bill Davidson became the first owner in sports to have three of his teams win a professional championship within eight months of each other. (Pistons, Shock, and Lightning). A feat that may never happen again.

Outside of sports, Davidson was much of the same. He bought some failing businesses and has turned them around to profitable companies. The Guardian Industries Co., a major manufacturer of glass products for the construction and automotive industries and fiberglass insulation products, is just one example.

Bill Davidson donated over $80 million to charities and businesses in the 1990s alone. In addition, he was a huge proponent of the more recent "Pistons Care Telethon" that raised over $440,000 this year and $410,000 last year for Feeding the Children.

The greatest thing about him has to be how humble he was about all these personal accomplishments as an owner and a person. When he was asked a couple years ago how he wants to be remembered in fifty years, he replied with a modest, "I don't care." He did everything he did because he cared about others, not about himself. Detroit lost a very special man.

The funeral for Mr. Davidson was held today in Birmingham, MI. Hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects for the late Pistons owner.

Here are a couple tribute videos I'd love for you to watch and join in on the moment of silence that was given to him at Pistons' home game following his death. RIP Bill Davidson.




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