|No. 31, 32, 34, 35|
|Date of birth||June 4, 1963|
|Place of birth||Columbia, South Carolina|
|Listed height||6 ft 7|
|Listed weight||205 lbs|
|NBA Draft||1985; Round: 1 / Pick: 4th|
|Selected by the Seattle SuperSonics|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Xavier McDaniel at NBA.com|
Xavier Maurice McDaniel (born June 4, 1963, in Columbia, South Carolina) is a retired American National Basketball Association (NBA) player who, at 6' 7", played both small forward and power forward for the Seattle SuperSonics, Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks, Boston Celtics, and New Jersey Nets.
Following a stellar All-American collegiate career at Wichita State University, where he was the first collegiate basketball player to lead the NCAA in both scoring and rebounding in 1985, McDaniel was selected fourth overall in the 1985 NBA Draft by the Seattle SuperSonics. Many opponents and fans referred to McDaniel as X or The X-Man. During his pro basketball career, McDaniel was known widely as an explosive player who could attack the rim and shoot a deadly turnaround jumper. He was also known for using his muscles to physically punish his opponent and box out for a rebound, while intimidating them at the same time with his trash talking. In Seattle, McDaniel was part of a core built around himself, shooting guard Dale Ellis, and power forward Tom Chambers.
In his first season, McDaniel averaged 17.1 points per game (second highest ever for a Sonics rookie), and was named the NBA All-Rookie team. In his second season, McDaniel averaged 23.0 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game (all career highs). Later, in 1988, he played in the NBA All-Star Game. The Sonics appeared in a string of Western Conference playoff series in the late 1980s, and with the drafting of point guard Gary Payton and power forward Shawn Kemp in the early 1990s, they rebuilt the team around the two rising stars. McDaniel was traded during the 1990-1991 season to the Phoenix Suns. Immediately following the season, McDaniel was traded to the New York Knicks, where he had quite a remarkable season in 1991-1992. The Knicks had just hired coach Pat Riley, who immediately instated a rough defensive scheme that McDaniel would fit right into as well as bring the best out of teammates Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, and John Starks. Though the scheme did not provide many scoring opportunities for McDaniel, it did bring the best out of him on defense, where he would intimidate opponents and create many rebounding opportunities. The Knicks rolled to the playoffs, where their defense outplayed that of the aging Detroit Pistons and challenged the defending champion Chicago Bulls. It was in the series with the Bulls that McDaniel truly shined. His intimidating defense threw Scottie Pippen's offense off the entire series. Though he and the Knicks gave the Bulls all they could handle, they eventually lost to them in seven games. Following the season, a contract dispute would prevent any chance of McDaniel's return to the Knicks. By then, his career was in a decline. He signed with the Boston Celtics and eventually moved overseas to Europe to play. He returned to the NBA for two more years with the New Jersey Nets and retired from the league in 1998.