Kenneth Faried Chasing The Dream
Usually when a player has serious limitations to his game, he should not expect to go high in the NBA draft. However, when that player is Kenneth Faried from Morehead State, most mock drafts have him going in the first round of the 2011 draft. One of the main reasons for that is his character and hustle, which are always two important things to look for in a draft prospect.
"I think I could go pretty high, but I have to keep pushing myself," said Faried. "I have to put the media accolades, whoever thinks I’m going here or there aside and just keep pushing myself and believing in myself. Then June 23rd, whenever my name is called, I’m going to be happy, humble and bring a great presence to that team."
Most expect with his offensive limitations Faried will be a power forward in the NBA, but at only 6’8" and 240 pounds, he will definitely be undersized at that position. However, showing the character he has, Faried believes in his abilities and knows there are ways he can do the dirty work at the next level.
"A lot of players are bigger and stronger than me, but I have a quick first jump and my second jump is probably more amazing and is quicker than my first jump," said Faried. "I elevate off the floor pretty quickly and just keep going. I’m relentless and that’s just the way I want to be. It’s just how I am."
Most predict Faried could go anywhere from pick 20 to pick 27 in the first round. Although it’s always the goal to go as high as possible, there may be a reason Faried may wish to go lower. Growing up, his favorite team was the New Jersey Nets, who hold the 27th pick in the draft this year and, in a perfect world, he would end up there.
"I was a great Nets fan," said Faried. "I always cheered on the Nets. Just to see how they’ve been struggling, it’s kind of hard, but I was always a great Nets fan. I always went to games with my school and I would always cheer on the Nets and be happy. I remember one time I was on the floor, actually, when they came out and shaking Vince Carter’s hand, Jason Kidd’s hand, shaking Richard Jefferson’s hand, it was just a great feeling knowing those players and they really cared. They even stopped to say, ‘Hey, good luck, man’ and it just felt good."
Growing up in the New York/New Jersey area, Faried made a very simple decision of making the Nets his team, rather than the New York Knicks.
"I root for the Nets and the Knicks, but I was closer to the Nets and I go to more of their games."
Now, as his dream of playing in the NBA is about to come true, Faried will soon find himself on the same court as those players he used to idolize. Yet, the 21-year-old player shows his maturity and professionalism again when thinking of being on the court with former Nets players.
"I think that would be a little bit of a shocker just to play on the same court as those great guys, a great group of fellas, I think I’ll be in culture shock the first couple of games whoever the team I go and play for. Whenever we go and play them, I’ll just be in shock to know I’m playing against these guys if I’m able to, but I’m going to have to put all emotions aside and go hard."
Now, as he puts final thoughts on his game in the heads of NBA teams, Faried waits to see if he’ll receive an invite to the draft. He would like nothing more than to walk onto the stage, shake Commissioner David Stern’s hand and place the cap of an NBA team on his head.
"If I’m invited, I’ll be there, but if I’m not, I don’t believe so," said Faried. "I don’t know how it’s going to go."
Faried will find out soon enough. June 23rd is right around the corner.