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Friday, April 25, 2014

Top 25 Favorite Knicks of the Modern Era: #20-19

We continue our look at who you voted for as your top 25 favorite Knicks of the Modern Era (1979-present, also known as the “Three-Point Era,” as that is when the three-pointer was adopted by the NBA)! Every weekday we will reveal two more Knicks until we reach #1! Click here for a master list of all Knicks revealed so far!

Enjoy!

20. Xavier McDaniel

Xavier McDaniel was taken with the fourth pick of the 1985 NBA Draft by the Seattle Supersonics. He was quickly a crowd favorite with his hard-nosed style of play and his strong scoring, averaging over 17 points a game in his rookie season, which was good enough to get him second place in the Rookie of the Year balloting behind some Knick center (whatever happened to that guy?). Dubbed the “X-Man,” McDaniel shaved his head and his eyebrows throughout his professional career, I presume to be more intimidating. He was a very aggressive defender, and he took great pride in playing the best small forwards in the game (most Larry Bird documentaries will show you some of the tough confrontations Bird and McDaniel had). He was eventually dealt to the Phoenix Suns after averaging over 20 points a game in four straight seasons for Seattle. Phoenix then sent him on to the Knicks at the start of the 1991-92 season. McDaniel’s tough defense made him an easy fit for the Pat Riley-era Knick squads and he had a memorable entanglement with Scottie Pippen during the 1991-92 NBA Playoffs, where the Knicks and the Bulls played an extremely hard-fought seven-game series. McDaniel was a free agent after the season, and sadly for the Knicks departed to the Boston Celtics, where he had his last few good years.

In his one season with the Knicks, Xavier McDaniel produced 4.6 Win Shares (more than Herb Williams produced his entire career as a Knick). For more of his stats, check out his profile at Basketball Reference!

19. Landry Fields

What can I tell you about this already beloved Knick rookie? The four-year player at Stanford was seemingly over-looked by many NBA scouts, although it is personally my theory that a number of teams downplayed their interest in Fields because they didn’t want him to get drafted before they could snare him with a second-round pick (specifically, I think the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs were both on top of Fields, as were perhaps the Phoenix Suns). Instead, it was the Knicks who picked Fields with the second of their back-to-back second-round picks, #39 overall. You all already know what he’s done as a Knick to make everyone love him – he’s a hustler, a good defender, a great rebounder, an efficient scorer, a prototypical “fills the stat sheet” player. Hopefully we’ll get to enjoy him for many more years to come!

In his quarter of a season with the Knicks, Landry Fields has produced 2.0 Win Shares (more than Ken “the Animal” Bannister, Malik Rose and Mardy Collins produced in their Knick years combined). For more of his stats, check out his profile at Basketball Reference!

Check back Monday for the next two Knicks on the list!

NOTE: Just to keep y’all from fretting about this list having too many current Knicks, only two other current Knicks are on the list. I don’t think three current Knicks is too much, considering the Knicks are good again for the first time in nearly a decade.

8 comments on “Top 25 Favorite Knicks of the Modern Era: #20-19

  1. eyeke

    I’d put Landry higher. Can’t wait to see “Curry’s expiring contract, Randolph and a first rounder we get for Gallo” in the top five.

  2. Nick C.

    Ah the X-man rarely does a motnh go by where I don’t blather on on this board about him terrorizing Pippen and how the dicking around of him at the end of the year was a first step in a long slow decline of the franchise.

  3. Spree8nyk8

    Man I talked to Xavier McDaniel in applebee’s a couple of years ago and told him how much I liked him as a Knick, and he scoffed at me. Basically saying something to the effect of “screw the Knicks, they shouldn’t have traded me”. And the whole time I’m listening to this guy I’m thinking…..”dude you left as a free agent???”

  4. Nick C.

    IIRC they were jerking him around talking to Harvey Grant and he got tired of waiting and went to Boston.

  5. Z

    re: X-Man, I remember him being mediocre at best during his 1 year with the Knicks. We had high hopes that he’d bring a viciousness to the team, but he was very passive and seemed lost. It was a lot like when Larry Johnson came in to play the ferocious-forward role, and similarly brought very little during his first season.

    By the playoffs, X had a few moments that one over some fans and we all hoped he’d re-sign, but the fact was, Charles Smith was actually an upgrade over X-Man for the Knicks.

    I’m really surprised that X’s 1 season won him enough votes to make this list. 18 years ago was a long time. How do those who remember him think so well of him? (Must be the bald head and cool name :)

  6. BigBlueAL

    Nick C.: Ah the X-man rarely does a motnh go by where I don’t blather on on this board about him terrorizing Pippen and how the dicking around of him at the end of the year was a first step in a long slow decline of the franchise.  

    Seriously?? The Knicks won 60, 57 and 55 games in the next 3 and final seasons under Riley including you know a trip to the NBA Finals.

  7. BigBlueAL

    BTW the reason I used the next 3 seasons is because thats how long X played with the Celtics. He then didnt play in the NBA the following season before coming back to the NBA to play a couple of meaningless seasons with the Nets.

  8. Nick C.

    BigBlueAL: Seriously?? The Knicks won 60, 57 and 55 games in the next 3 and final seasons under Riley including you know a trip to the NBA Finals.  (Quote)

    You got me there. Maybe it was the last time I thought they could beat the Bulls. But it did piss me off at the time when they let him go.

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