Detroit mayor Dave Bing still has the competitive fire that made him an NBA All-Star.
After Boston mayor Tom Menino said he would "blow up" the bankrupt city and start over, Bing fired back.
"It is extremely regrettable that Boston Mayor Thomas Menino used such an unfortunate choice of words to describe what he would do if he came to Detroit," Bing said in a statement posted Tuesday on both Twitter and Facebook, adding:
"I would think the mayor of a city that recently experienced a deadly bombing attack would be more sensitive and not use the phrase 'blow up.'"
Menino, in an interview with New York Times Magazine, was asked which city besides Boston he'd like to live in. He called Baltimore "a nice little city," then said he'd love to visit Detroit.
"I'd blow up the place and start all over," he said. "No, seriously, when it takes a police officer 90 minutes to answer a call, there's something wrong with the system. Forty percent of the streetlights are out, most of the buildings are boarded up. Why? Inaction, that's the problem -- leadership."
Bing said he was "dismayed that Mayor Menino did not get his facts right before making his remarks to the widely-read New York Times."
"The Detroit Police Department's response time is not -- and has never been -- 90 minutes," he wrote. "And, most of our city's buildings are not boarded up. Since taking office more than four years ago, there has been tireless action on the part of my administration to improve the quality of life for our citizens. In fact, I invite Mayor Menino to visit Detroit to see our city for himself."
A spokeswoman for Menino said late Tuesday afternoon: "The mayor is sorry that people have taken offense."