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Danny Manning was drafted with the first overall pick by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 1988 NBA Draft and spent more than a decade in the league. During his NBA Career, Manning scored 12,367 points and averaged 14.0 points per game. He played only 26 games as a rookie because of arthroscopic knee surgery after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, but returned for the 1989-1990 season. His most productive NBA season was 1992-1993, when he averaged 22.8 points a game and was selected to play in the All-Star Game. He was also selected as an All-Star the following season.
Continuing knee problems forced Manning to become a part-time player in 1996 after he had undergone two more surgeries. He won the 1997-1998 Sixth Man Award as the best reserve player in the NBA, averaging 13.5 points while playing about 26 minutes a game. At the time Manning held the distinction of being first and only NBA player to have returned to play after reconstructive surgeries on both knees (a feat since duplicated by Amaré Stoudemire). Manning was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks in 1999, but played for different teams during each of his final four seasons in the league.