Before Kenneth Faried was The Manimal, he was a relatively unknown power forward out of Morehead State University.
Heading in to the 2011 NBA Draft, Faried had made a name for himself as an energetic workhorse who had an extraordinary ability to snag rebounds and loved battling with larger players down low. Scouts labeled him as an “undersized” kid who needed to “overcome the disadvantages of playing” in a small conference in college, and called his offensive moves “too predictable even against lesser competition.”
Luckily, the Denver Nuggets ignored the knocks on Faried and, with the 22 pick in the 2011 Draft, they welcomed him to the Mile High City. So what convinced the team that, despite playing at a small school, Faried’s skills could translate to the NBA? It may have had something to do with his performance in pre-draft workouts.
In the video above we get a great look at the Nuggets putting Faried through the paces in their practice facility. Manimal does a lot of the things for which he’s become famous around the league: attacks the boards with the attitude that every rebound belongs to him, throws down ferocious dunks, and exhibits the energy and aggression that earned him his very fitting nickname. It’s easy to see why the Nuggets fell in love with him in 2011, and boy, am I glad they did.
Hopefully the Nuggets will share similar behind the scenes footage of some of this year’s pre-draft workouts. Watching players endlessly drain jumpers and slam on unprotected rims is great, but there’s nothing like watching prospects work in “live” situations against decent competition.