(Also known as by his government name, Xavier McDaniel)


All you need to do is ask Wes Matthews about The X-Man:


That’s right, folks – full on choking a bitch. Xavier McDaniel did what he deemed necessary. In fact, he never met a fight he didn’t like. At 6’7” and a svelte 205 lbs. (when playing, that is – he now appears to weigh about twice that), you’d guess that McDaniel were a slashing, perimeter-oriented small forward. Instead, he was an extremely physical, basket-attacking fiend (with a nice shooting touch) that not only battled some of the finest players to ever play the game, but also mixed it up with some of the meanest, baddest, and craziest interior players of the day.

X was actually a solid scorer in his prime, earning All-Rookie honors, making an All-Star appearance, and having multiple seasons where he averaged over 20 points per game. Enough about that, though…

… let’s talk about the thuggery.

Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Clyde Drexler were all superstars at the time, but that didn’t bother McDaniel. Although all three of them would often get the better of him from a performance standpoint, X made sure they earned it:

But he wasn’t always getting beat. While with the Knicks, McDaniel single-handedly made Scottie Pippen’s life a living hell during the 1992 Eastern Conference Finals. Speaking of which, remember how I talked about THE OAK and how you’d have to be crazy to after him? Well, check out who TAKES A SWING in the first fight of this clip:

… that brawl actually ended up going about 8 rows deep into the stands at MSG. Another infamous thug who had to face off with the X-MAN was the one and only Dennis Rodman. Check out this snippet from a Seattle Times interview with X, reminiscing about the good ol’ days: 

“I remembered one time Dennis Rodman punched me upside the head and then he punched my [groin]. I already told the ref and they didn’t do anything, so I whooped his butt. They wouldn’t let me out of the locker room after the game because I was going to get him.”

McDaniel, who was suspended one game for the incident, said if he was enjoying his favorite meal at Carolina Wings in Columbia, S.C., today and Rodman walked through the door, the X-Man would leap from his seat like it was 1987.

“I’d punch him in the face,” McDaniel said. “I owe him one anyway.”

Fairly straightforward.

The X-Man also had numerous encounters with members of the Lakers squads of the late-80’s. Skip ahead to about one-minute mark of the clip below to see him go to war with likes of Michael Cooper and KAREEM:

McDaniel was so well-known for his enforcer status that he even landed a guest role on “Married With Children,” roughing up Al Bundy in the process.

A lot of guys shaved their heads for intimidation purposes. The X-Man took it one step further and often shaved HIS EYEBROWS. If that doesn’t get you a slot as one of our hand-selected THUGS, then I don’t know what does.

Wes Lilliman can be contacted at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s