June 4th 1963: Xavier McDaniel’s Birthday
Xavier “X-Man” McDaniel celebrated his birthday on this date. The Seattle Supersonics drafted X-Man as the 4th overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft. After several solid seasons with the Sonics, the team dealt X-Man to the Phoenix Suns early in the 1990-91 season.
Shortly before the 1991-92 season, the Suns traded McDaniel to the Knicks for Jerrod Mustaf, Trent Tucker, and a couple 2nd round picks. X-Man perfectly fit into Pat Riley’s system and culture providing the toughness and intensity that permeated throughout the locker room. He was known for his tough battles with Scottie Pippen in the 1992 NBA Playoffs.
Following the 1991-92 season, Knicks President Dave Checketts, for some strange reason, decided to wait until past September to try to re-sign X-Man. Unfortunately, X-Man and agent David Falk moved on from the Knicks and signed a three year contract with the Boston Celtics. Facing a gap at the small forward position, Checketts went ahead to acquire Charles Smith in a three-team deal that sent Mark Jackson to the Los Angeles Clippers and Doc Rivers to NY.
X-Man seemed a perfect fit for NY and perhaps Dave Checketts should have spent more energy keeping him on the roster.
Knicks Film School Historian, amongst other things