On March 15, 2012, Nene was traded to the Washington Wizards and Kenneth Faried was able to do what many rookies don't get to do much under George Karl: play basketball. Faried came alive when the regular season came to an end, and continued his high-energy play into the first round of the playoffs when the Nuggets took the Los Angeles Lakers through a rough seven-game series.
Faried's infectious smile and active play has been a welcome addition to the Denver Nuggets. Fans have been going nuts as Kenneth capitalized on and lived by his nickname, Manimal. The term was affectionately coined by someone in Kenneth's agency who couldn't stop thinking and saying, "He's an animal. He's a man. He's a beast."
Kenneth Faried was born on November 19, 1989 in Newark, NJ. He graduated from Technology High School in 2007 and entered Morehead State.
At Morehead, Kenneth played basketball through his senior year, earning many honors as he brought the Eagles to new heights. His hard work and winning attitude paid off as he walked away from four years having accomplished the following:
- Named the Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year - 2009, 2010, and 2011
- Named the Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Year - 2010 and 2011
- Named the Most Valuable Player at the Reese's College All-Star Game - 2011
- Named to the All-American 2nd Team by the United States Basketball Writer's Association and Fox Sports - 2011
There was absolutely nothing shabby about Kenneth Faried's rookie year with the Denver Nuggets. Faried was drafted 22nd in the first round on June 23, 2011 into the NBA's shortened season. His numbers were extremely impressive considering the fact that Faried only played in 46 games. Below is a brief snapshot of how the season played out...
- Started in 39 games, which is quite an accomplishment given Karl's reputation of not playing rookies, let alone starting them.
- Played an average of 22 minutes per game.
- Scored 59% of his field goals.
- Scored 67% of his free throws.
What the numbers don't show are Kenneth's energy, enthusiasm, and play-hard attitude...the "real stuff" that wins games. After all, they don't call him the Manimal for no reason.
Into the Future
As a die-hard Denver Nuggets fan, I am looking forward to an exciting 2012-2013 season, even though it is only June and Halloween is still months away. I have never been so anxious for the summer to be over so that I can start to track the Nuggets once again. I've always rooted the Nuggets on every year, collectively as a team, however, I am looking forward to the growth and energy Kenneth Faried will bring back next season. I've never had the inkling to ever consider naming a "favorite player" on the Nuggets team. I must say that I can now say that Kenneth Faried is my favorite Denver Nugget to watch. I cannot wait to see the Manimal re-emerge for a second NBA season!