Q&A: Kenneth Faried

Second-year forward excited about opportunity to play at Madison Square Garden
by Aaron Lopez

When the Denver Nuggets played at Madison Square Garden last season, Kenneth Faried had one of the best seats in the house.

It was still difficult being a spectator.

Faried, a Newark, N.J. native, was trying to gain traction as an NBA rookie and did not play when the Nuggets beat the New York Knicks 119-114 in double-overtime on Jan. 21.

Less than a year later, he is averaging a double-double (12.8 points, 10.4 rebounds) and has started all 19 games for the Nuggets this season.

It promises to be an emotional homecoming Sunday when Faried gets his chance to play in front of family and friends as the Nuggets take on the Knicks at the Garden. He talked about the anticipation in a quick interview with

Q: Did you grow up rooting for the New York Knicks living in New Jersey?
A: Honestly, I was a Patrick Ewing, John Starks, and Charles Oakley fan back in the day. Those guys used to bang, take nothing from nobody and I loved how Charles Oakley used to play. He just battled on the boards with toughness.

Q: Is playing at Madison Square a dream come true?
A: This is always what I wanted to do. Last year I thought I would have a shot but unfortunately it wasn’t the right time for me to play. Now I get to play and we’ll see what happens. Of course I’m going to have some jitters because I’ve always wanted to play in the Garden, it’s an exciting place to play. We have to come out of there with a win.

Q: How was the experience of being back at MSG your rookie year even though you did not play?
A: It was frustrating more. I was a little frustrated with myself because I knew I could do better. I wanted to prove to coach that I could play but it was just a matter of waiting my turn. I was upset and I talked to my mother and she just told me to keep grinding and wait your turn. Finally, I get the chance to go back and play there so it’s going to be fun.

Q: How much family will be in attendance?
A: From the looks of it I heard about 40 family members are going to be there so I’m kind of nervous [laughs]. But I have to do what I have to do.

Q: How excited are they to see you play?
A: This will be the first time that they are really seeing me play in person for a lot of my family. I’m especially excited that my grandmother will get to see me play because she has never seen a game up close in personal in her life. I just want her to be there and experience her first NBA game.

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