NO. 9 VERSUS NO.
Wimp Sanderson always claimed that Derrick McKey, rather than Danny Manning,
would have been the No. 1 pick in the 1988 draft had McKey remained with the
Tide for one more year instead of signing with an agent, therefore losing his
college eligibility. As it was, McKey became the ninth choice in the '87 draft.
At this point in their young professional careers, it appears that McKey, who
plays for the Sonics, has passed the Clippers' Manning in the hierarchy of NBA
forwards. Of the 22 teams (excluding Seattle. and the Clippers) that responded
to SI's poll, McKey got 15 votes to Manning's seven.
Manning's bum right knee, the results are somewhat surprising because of
McKey's reputation for sporadic lackadaisical play, a complaint that has never
been leveled against the gritty Manning.
prevailing attitude is that McKey began to blossom after the Sonics traded
Xavier McDaniel on Dec. 7. Said Laker coach Mike Dunleavy in casting a vote for
McKey, "He's expanding as a player every game."
Those who voted
for Manning praised his aggressiveness and versatility. Still, there are doubts
about his talent. Said one Eastern Conference coach, "No way he has Number
One—pick ability. We all overrated him."