Power forward Kenneth “Manimal” Faried is without a doubt the heart and soul of the entire Denver Nuggets‘ roster. When you watch him play, he has an infectious demeanor and energy that permeates throughout the team. His nickname isn’t “Manimal” for no reason. Kenneth attacks the glass with vigor like an animal on both ends of the floor and has an engine with an attitude that simply does not quit. Another reason for his nickname is due to his innate ability to chase down opponents and block shots out of nowhere as well as his backboard shaking dunks on the offensive at end of the court.
Faried will be entering his third-year in the NBA for the Nuggets out of Morehead State University, a small school in Kentucky. He is a stat stuffer who averaged 11.5 points per game, 9.2 rebounds per game and 1.04 blocks per game this past season. The 6-foot-8, 228 pounder has an impressive physique. You can find Kenneth gracing the pages of ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue 2013. Wow, I wish I looked that good with my clothes off.
Like many other members of the Nuggets roster, Faried is not completely satisfied with his game at this stage of his career. In fact, he has followed in JaVale McGee‘s footsteps and has been working with Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon during this offseason. Much like McGee, Kenneth is working to improve upon his low-post game and footwork. So, I guess it would be appropriate for Denver’s heart and soul to be a relentless worker in the offseason as well.
Kenneth and teammate, Ty Lawson, were among 25 other players who were invited to to participate in the Team USA mini-camp which occurred July 22-25 in Las Vegas. Without question, this was a tremendous honor for both young stars. Both Faried and Lawson should be mentioned as elite players in the league, and look for both to have All-Star caliber 2013-14 NBA seasons.
Lawson will always be the conventional leader for the young Denver squad. However, for years to come, “Manimal” Faried will be the Nuggets’ Ferrari engine and their definitive heart and soul.