When it comes to All-Star games, the effort given is usually a minimum. Minus Pete Rose’s vicious collision at home plate or Sean Taylor laying out Brian Moorman, athletes usually just sit back and go through the motions while having fun.
Don’t tell that to Kenneth Faried.
Faried dropped 40 points in the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge for Team Chuck en route to their victory. Faried was named the MVP of the contest.
“It feels wonderful. It’s a great feeling with all of those elite guys out there who work just as hard as I do, to rise above them in a respect type of way,” Faried told reporters following the contest. “To win the MVP is an honor.”
Faried was the recipient of multiple alley-oops from his teammates and even gave all his effort to block a dunk by Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.
“I came out with an intent to put on a performance, but I wasn’t looking for an MVP type performance,” Faried said. “I was looking to have fun and just play the game I love to play.”
One may criticize Faried giving his all in an exhibition contest, but it’s effort that makes him who he is.
“He honestly just has a motor that keeps on ticking,” Denver Nuggets Head Coach George Karl said. “His effort is why he is as good as he is. The scary thing is that he is still developing.”
Faried said dropping 40 points in the game was the first time he reached that milestone.
“I can honestly say that’s the first time I scored 40 points in a game,” Faried said. “I haven’t even hit 30 before. I’m always stuck on 29 or 28 points.”
As the lone representative for the Nuggets, Faried not only put himself on the map, but put his team in the spotlight as well.
If Friday night’s effort was any indication, the Manimal could take off in the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, despite having the odds against him.