In an exclusive interview with Basketball Network, Danny Manning reflected on his draft days and his initial adjustment to adulthood in the city of Los Angeles.
Manning was fresh off winning the NCAA national championship with his Kansas Jayhawks when he was selected first overall pick in 1988. NBA Draft by The Los Angeles Clippers.
He came into the league as the University of Kansas’ all-time leading scorer and rebounder, as well as the NABC’s Most Outstanding Player of Year in 1998.
With a resume like that, it’s no wonder he was the highest selected pick in his draft class, but as we know, being the 1st pick is both a blessing and a curse.
In his case, the beginning of his NBA journey was that much more exciting because of the team that drafted him, as he went from a college kid to a young millionaire living in LA overnight.
His transition came with many challenges. Apart from the on-court stuff, he highlighted fiscal responsibility as one of the most important things he had to learn to deal with as a young NBA professional.
“[I didn’t have] a lot of experience in terms of finances and buying houses and other things of that nature. So for me, it was a very eye-opening experience, and it was a very [exciting] time to be honest with you.”Danny Manning, Basketball Network
When asked if he had anyone to help guide him through that whole process, Danny said that The Rookie Orientation Program by the NBA was beneficial and provided him and other members of his draft class valuable information regarding their new adjustment.
He then explained how his biggest mentor in life was his father, who was also a former professional basketball player, so most of the advice he took was passed down by him.
“We had talked all the time about what I needed to do to make sure I was putting myself in the best position possible. And I tried to show a little bit of discipline, but it’s hard. You move out to LA, and there are so many things going on, and you have to understand that you can’t be a part of all of those.”Danny Manning, Basketball Network
It seems as if the city a rookie gets drafted to has a deep influence on the development of you NBA players, but judging by this story, we’re just glad to see that Danny had the discipline to remain professional in LA.
To hear about all of this in more detail, peep the video below: