Apr 20, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) before game one of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the Golden State Warriors at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Interview with Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried

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Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried returned to Morehead State for his annual two-day basketball camp that he sponsors. News stations and papers from around the area had the chance to speak with Faried at the end of the day. This is a transcript of the questions that were asked and Faried’s answers. Full Disclosure: this was a room full of media so these questions aren’t all mine.

Is this the first time you’ve been back to Morehead since you left school?

It’s been about a year and a half since I’ve been back to school but, I mean, when I do come back I do show love and appreciation of being here and try to say ‘Hi’ to everybody as much as I can.

What’s it like coming back?

It’s a good feeling. Just to come back and see the faces and it reminds me of where I came from and how far I came to get where I’m at now and to keep the motivation, the fire that burns inside me to keep grinding.

What’s it mean to make the Team USA mini-camp? How did you find out about that?

I found out ahead of time before it was released. But I was excited about it. I was just ecstatic about the whole thing, to be a part of such an elite group. And to be, I guess, a nominee for the mini-camp. Just to go out there to Vegas and try to the best of my abilities to make the team is just an honor.

How do you like your chances (to make the team)?

I don’t really know. I’m anxious to see how it’s going to turn out but I think my chances are just as good as anyone else’s

If there was a flaw on the USA team maybe it was physicality:

Hopefully they could use me for that and hopefully I could make the team because of my physical presence. But if I don’t, there’s always next year or maybe the year after that. So you just gotta stay locked in and focused and grind. But if I do make the USA team it’s an honor to be a part of it. Just to be nominated is an honor.

What did you think of your season overall?

Me, personally, I think for the regular season we did fantastic, I mean, we did a great job. As a team coming together and string along wins and that win streak we went on was pretty amazing and a real fun ride to be a part of. The group of guys in that locker room just loving and caring for each other and basically balling out. The playoffs was tough. We just gotta use it as motivation this summer to get better and grind.

How surprised were you that GK wasn’t retained?

I don’t have a comment on that.

Do you have thoughts on what the coach should look for?

[laughs] No comment on that either. I just want a coach, basically.

What’s been your proudest moment in the NBA so far?

Getting the recognition of becoming a rising star and just being a part of that group of guys and that team. It was fun. Just different players from different teams coming together and it was fun with them. I think the proudest moment is when we went to a playground with NBA Cares to try and build a jungle gym and that was really fun.

Has the NBA been what you expected?

Nothing surprised me I think I prepared myself going to college for four years for about anything. I think what surprised me was the brute strength of guys. Everybody is strong, everybody is quick so you gotta bring it every night.

Who’s the toughest guy out there?

Tim Duncan. Something about him. You can’t call him old. [laughs] He just knows the game, he does it so well. It’s an honor to step on the court anytime we play against each other because he knows how to play the game and he respects the game. Just a privilege to be out there with him.

Anyone you wanted to meet?

Kevin Garnett. That was my favorite player growing up, just watching him. Other than Dennis Rodman. But Kevin Garnett, he was my favorite player to watch. His energy, his hustle, his intensity he brought to the court. He used to yell before the games started. That motivated me to be that guy. I wanted to be like him.

Did you get a chance to talk to him?

I did one time. Talking to him. He was kind of upset that we beat them and we were about to win the game and I was like ‘I know this is probably a bad time… but I have to say, with all due respect you’re my favorite player  growing up and I respect you so much as a player and hopefully when we see each other again it’ll be just as fun playing.’

Was that this year or your rookie season?

That was this past season I got to say something to him. My rookie season he was kind of mad at me. I came out of nowhere and had like a perfect game.

What’d he say to you?

He actually said ‘Thanks, just keep playing hard. I like the way you play. Stay focused and locked in’

The irony of Tim Duncan, the record you broke in college. Do you talk to him? (*Faried broked Tim Duncan’s college basketball career rebounding record*)

He’s really quiet. He just kind of sticks to himself but during the game he talks to his teammates more than anybody. It’s an honor to play against him. And it is ironic that I broke his record and it seems like every time I play him it’s harder to get rebounds than anybody else.

Do you think that’s a coincidence?

Some type of coincidence. Either, I just have so much respect for him, or I broke his record and he’s mad about that. I don’t know what it is.

Your support about same-sex, what’s the feedback?

Majority of it’s positive. Majority support my decision to be an Athlete Ally in support gays, lesbians, transgenders, transexuals and nobody’s really against it. Most people, of course you have your people who are ignorant to the subject and is going to have a certain opinion, but you can’t be upset about it. I’m going to stand by my decision and continue to support.

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