Saturday, 12 November 2016
#SuperheroSeason XAVIER MCDANIEL Feature-PROFESSOR X
By TIM DAVID HARVEY
The following takes place sometime between 1989 and 1997...
Sonic booms reverberate all around the city of Seattle as 'The Glove', Gary Payton is dropping Emeralds like he held the Infinity Gauntlet like Avengers big bad Thanos. And flying through the Cosmos like Thor with the hammer is 'The Reignman', Shawn Kemp. Throwing and putting it down over and over again. His thunderous slams precipitating all over the state of Washington's Key Arena baskets like they were buckets with holes in them. Oop-BOOM! You've never seen a duo so dynamic Batman. The pick and roll of Stockton on Malone on protein powder. Shaq and Kobe without the b.s. The only thing this one, two punch took swipes at was the nets...and the opposition. From New Jersey to New England, when Seattle still had an NBA franchise they reigned supreme in the Ewing and Barkley tough 90's golden era. And it was all thanks to The Glove and the man he handed it all off to. Waking up Seattle crowds better than their best coffee, before the Starbucks bean grabbers took them from the city of grunge to an Oklahoma home. Seattle had reign before the Thunder of Westbrook and what once was Durant. But all good things and that. Still when everyone under the Space-Needle in Rain City watched like Frasier Cane listened it was all for 20 and 40. The coupling of G.P. Gary Payton and S.K., Shawn Kemp.
And then there was X.
Xavier McDaniel marked the spot before this one, two checked the lane. Don't wait for the Macklemore thrift shop throwback to acknowledge, Couldn't nobody hold the X-Man as Professor Xavier terminated all those in his lane laser Cyclops focus path. He cut through defenders like Wolverine, quicker than Quicksilver. This Beast was a Storm when he rose to put sugar in the cup. Flying like Archangel with more aces in the hole than Gambit. A Cerebro like knowledge of all the different type of dunks he could duke. His colossal strength showed he had the mettle to go toe to toe with any Magneto villain. The Iceman cometh and rose like a Phoenix. Always on NBA Jam fire. Pure paint power. Number 34 like Shaq or Anthony Mason. A strong-hold creation of the two mixed together with potent punctuation. As bald and as bad as DMX, X was going to give it to ya every time he was coming down the court. 'Xplosive' like Dre. Even the good Doctor Julius didn't dunk quite like this. In the Showtime era of the Lakers Xavier McDaniel was big-game Magic. Among the blue collar green bloods of Boston, this fellow Green Day player flew like Bird. Only the legend of Larry eluded him. Before Mike Jordan, Seattle's X saw air and we aren't talking about the breeze on his razor shaved dome. Because he took off and soared to those same Jet City skies at Supersonic speed. But McDaniel's dunks weren't the only thing that kept him up. He blocked like a fast break finisher always starts off doing and this lion heart, bullying beast that could run you down like a gazelle also knew how to take the lunch money from your hip-pocket. Swiping a swat like steal like it was a mid-height block, Just when you were sure you had it and him. You'd be telling referees jotting in their notebook like detectives that you could have sworn you'd just seen him. You were just with the Spalding only a moment ago.
But the man who threw the rock into all sorts of hard places also was as smooth as he was strong. His clutch game of range made him just as deadly on the perimeter from mid to downtown like he was at the break in case of emergency glass. Charging up rebounds in the key and putting them back with an electric fence defense like lightning bolt. X knew how to cancel everyone out. He was double X, L. A triple X threat that the league in the 80's wish they could have censored like the first red, black and white Air Jordan's. But f### a fine Xavier McDaniels paid the cost...and you know just what he became. This was a man that went toe-to-toe with Ewing. Nose to nose with Mr. Cooper. Pip to pip with Scottie. From choking out Lakers to lunging over scorers tables, not just for loose balls, but loose lipped opponents trying to taunt. This enforcer who wrestled with every big show, big shot wasn't even afraid to square up to the greatest of all-time. To 34, number 23 was just a number. Mike just another man in his way. This guy was a real powerful forward in the punch purple paint before Rodman and all his hair colors. Just call him a Cousin of DeMarcus, or even Uncle X. Because this guy was Ron, Ron before Artest found World Peace. Terminator X may have been a Public Enemy number one to a nation of millions that couldn't hold him back. But he fought the power as he ran a power move on them like Chuck Barkley. And to think we've got some non believers in this don't think twice world of hype. Yet X was a Professor smart enough to graduate from an Academy of gifted youngsters all the way to the hallowed hall making NBA Draft.
South Carolina born, this 6 foot 7, 218 pound tweaning forward McDaniels was Witchita State raised (no, not Xavier university). All the way to the fourth pick in the draft of the year this writer was born ('85) as this X-Man became a cult-hit in the eighties like the old Marvel animation in these days of future past. The forward running player who played in every number in the early thirties also suited up for the Phoenix rising Suns he was set with, a Pat Riley New York tough, 90's Knicks team of Oakley's and Mason clones, a fellow Emerald green collar Celtic side and the Springsteen blue jean, bootcut Nets of New Jersey after some time at sea with Greece's Iraklis Thessaloniki B.C. But all of these one to two year stints had nothing on his half decade with Seattle, as perfect and precious as the nostalgically missed Supersonics franchise, In the iconic 80's, before the classic 90's uniform that recently retired, Jesus piece Ray Allen redux rebooted at number 34 in the cities last hosting years in the other Beantown, before Seattle's best club became Sue Bird's WNBA Storm in the Key. Now only original, underrated international player Detlef Schrempf comes close to X (who formed a terrifying 20 point per trifecta with hard working legends Dale Ellis and Tom Chambers) as being part of Seattle's Payton and Kemp big-three of green and yellow history. He not only wore the uniform with pride, he made it a hardwood classic, throwback testament to Mitchell and Ness. Now keeping the X name strong in basketball circles his Xavier junior sons and daughter Xylina are making their spots on college courts. The McDaniels legacy lives on like a cross in a ballot paper box. All thanks to the man that rose the bar on concepts and contests of slam dunks in-game. The Charles Xavier bald hitman with shaved eyebrows raised his fair share over his career. Word to Anthony Davis. Now how are you going to fear the brow when there isn't one? Extraordinary!