In a recent interview, Kenneth Faried talked about how excited he was to join Houston and how the Rockets helped revitalize his career.
Before he moved to center for the Rockets, the Denver Nuggets drafted Kenneth Faried as a power forward with the 22nd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Faried quickly became a fan favorite in the Mile High City, as fans loved his athleticism and enthusiasm. Faried’s hustle and high energy quickly earned him the nickname ‘Manimal.’
However, Faried seemed to fall back down to earth very rapidly. Every year, the 3-point shot is becoming increasingly vital to every team’s success. As a result, stretch fours have become more of a necessity than just a luxury, which put Faried, a power forward to small to play center, in an odd position.
Furthermore, Faried suffered injuries to his back and gluteus maximus, causing him to miss extended time. Nikola Jokic quickly rised into a star center and the Nuggets signed Paul Millsap in the summer of 2017. All of a sudden, Faried was mostly outside of the rotation and only appeared in 32 games last season.
After leaving the Nuggets, Faried had a very short stint with the Brooklyn Nets before the team released him. Fortunately for Faried, Houston center Clint Capela was nursing an injury and the Rockets needed a big man. With Faried’s athleticism, the Rockets figured he could make the move to center and his rim-running ability would make him a perfect fit in Mike D’Antoni‘s system.
As a result, Faried has really shined in Houston, averaging 13.6 points and 8.7 rebounds in 21 games. Kenneth Faried told NBA.com’s Sekou Smith that Mike D’Antoni’s plug-and-play system has breathed new life into his career.
“Absolutely. Me being on this team is a blessing because it gave me new life to my career. People see Kenneth Faried can do this and Kenneth Faried can do that. And Houston is letting him do this and letting him do that. So I give coach D’Antoni a ton of credit for that, and a ton of respect for letting, not just me but also James Harden be who he is, Chis Paul be who he is, Clint Capela be who he is. I mean, Austin Rivers, he’s got him over here letting him be who he is after everybody thought he was down and out when he went to Washington. But he’s back on track. Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker … think about where all these guys have come from. And now you’ve got a strong group that’s confident and knows how to get the job done. A group that knows what it takes to be in this league and is going to bring the grit and heart to the floor each and every night.”
The best thing about the Rockets is that they really put players into the best position to succeed. Mike D’Antoni took James Harden off the ball and made him a point guard, which has led to him playing the best basketball of his career.
Similarly, the Rockets moved Kenneth Faried to center to allow him to set screens, run to the rim and grab rebounds, which is what he has done his entire career. He’s never been a 3-point shooter, but Houston has given him the freedom to take 3s when he has the opportunity, and as a result Faried has made 6 of his 16 3-point attempts since coming to the team.
Since Faried’s arrival, he has really brought a ton of energy off the bench and his rebounding has been huge for the team. His hustle should pay off huge for the Rockets in the postseason, when every possession is so important.
You can read the rest of the interview here.