This is a rare original Nathaniel Butler photograph of former NBA player Danny Manning. Manning began his basketball career as a college player on the Kansas University Jayhawks. During his senior year in 1988, he leads his team to victory against Oklahoma, winning the NCAA title. He was considered the best college player that year. In the Summer of 1988, he was also selected to compete for the U.S. in the Summer Olympics. Manning’s performance and promising career lead him to be picked first by the LA Clippers in 1988. Unfortunately, his potential was hindered after only 26 games, when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He continued to play but at a part-time capacity. He was faced with knee problems for the rest of his 14-year career. This photo was most likely taken in 1988 just as Manning’s professional career was beginning. During this time, he would have been considered the best college player of all time and just drafted into the LA Clippers.
Nathaniel S. Butler has captured the beauty of sports photography for over 35 NBA Finals together as the senior official NBA photographer. Butler has been covering the New York Knicks and New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets for the NBA since 1984, amongst capturing other stars in the moment as well.
Butler went to St. John’s University and began photographing basketball games at Madison Square Garden, where the team played their larger games. At MSG, he met photographers from Sports Illustrated who were also there to cover the game.
“I started working as an assistant which was basically an apprenticeship. It was the greatest experience ever,” Butler said. “At that time, Sports Illustrated was what we all aspired to do…it was the greatest learning experience I’ve ever had.”
From that experience, Butler learned how to light indoor arenas and the importance of timing using the strobe system that restricts shooting to one photo every four seconds. He continued to shoot games at MSG and worked as an intern in the NBA PR Department in 1984, the same year David Stern was promoted to Commissioner.
Appraisal Value: $5,000.00
Our Price: $1,995.00
Nathaniel Butler has been one of the NBA’s professional photographers since 1984. This one of a kind photograph measures 20” (wide) x 24” (high). It is mounted on board and the whole piece measures 24” wide by 28” high.
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