‘The Manimal’ Cannot Be Outworked

Soon after tipoff, Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried pushed his tachometer into the red, as he so often does. Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau got to grinding and barking from one of the sidelines, as he so often does.

That’s when the potency of the situation hit home: If Faried played for Thibodeau, teaming their work ethics on any given night in The Association, the result would be like crossing the streams in “Ghostbusters.”

Total protonic reversal.

Too too much.

Faried has been outworking opponents since the day he arrived in the NBA as the No. 22 pick out of Morehead State in the 2011 draft. Using hustle, scrappiness and tenacity the way more refined players rely on touch, grace or hand-eye coordination, the 6-foot-8, 228-pounder from Newark, N.J., ranks 11th in the NBA in rebounding, seventh in offensive rebounding and ninth in field-goal percentage because of the high volume of dunks and layups. He had six and two, respectively, against Thibodeau’s Bulls Thursday night, part of his 9-of-10 shooting for 21 points and 12 rebounds.

It was his fifth 20/10 game this season and his 33rd double-double in 96 NBA games dating to the start of last season, and the Nuggets are 28-5 on those nights.

Denver, as a result, hasn’t missed Nene. It seems fine without Carmelo Anthony. All because it has The Manimal, Faried’s nickname these days.

Faried, though, sounds like he’s interested in making a name for the Nuggets. Routing the overachieving Bulls, who are said to be one Derrick Rose away from a title chase in the East, was the latest, greatest move.

“Not a lot of people see us when we play,” Faried said afterward, referring to the TNT network audience that was theirs Thursday. “So more people wanted to step to the stage on a nationally televised stage, and we brought it tonight. People might not respect us as much because we’re not on TV as much like a Clippers, Lakers or Knicks. But today we made a statement on TNT, showing everybody – hey, pay attention.”

So consider yourself forewarned, viewers: That would be Faried, most likely, testing the 120Hz refresh rate by streaking across your flat-screen in Denver colors.

Faried will get a chance under the bright lights again at All-Star Weekend when he competes both in the 2013 Sprite Slam Dunk contest and for TEAM CHUCK in the 2013 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. But the man brings such a motor and such heart to his job, night in, night out, even in the dog days of early February, that it can make you wonder what other players – perhaps more skilled or polished – could do if they ran that hot.

Here are a handful off the top of some HTB heads.

  • Tyrus Thomas, Charlotte Bobcats
  • Andrea Bargnani, Toronto Raptors
  • James Johnson, Sacramento Kings
  • Michael Beasley, Phoenix Suns
  • Dwight Howard, Los Angeles Lakers

Feel free to name some more, explaining why and how they’d benefit from a little more Manimal in their tanks.


  1. bu says:

    Max got it right. It’s a personality thing.

    Also, each player has his special skills & it’ll be harzardous to have too many manimals on the same team. Though Faried is a great energy player.

    I’d say the important thing is to have the “intensity” in all the players. That’s the key to winning games & championship, not necessarily the manimalness. Intensity can be enhanced & developed. It’s about mental focus & will to win.

    So the list of players presented above all don’t seem to have intensity, esp Howard. What a waste of talent!!

  2. Juice says:

    I think the whole league can and should take a page out of this dudes book. Honest hardwork. Seem’s as if we have to many fairies in the league always looking towards the ref to blow their magic whistles, even at worst the flop artistry which has come about in more recent years. What ever happened to honest hard grinding out hard working players?

    The whole league would change for the better. The long awaited come back of “TRUE CENTERS” wouldn’t be far off

  3. Gordon A says:

    If Cousins had the mindset of Faried he would be the best centre in the league hands down and a top 10 player.

  4. Dont Worry says:

    LeBron James needs more Manimal. Hes playing around these days it doesnt even look like hes trying but he still dominates

  5. Kamote says:

    Yup, Beasley should be “beastly” :). This guy just shoots, and if his shots aren’t falling, he won’t help on anything else.

  6. Karlo Garcia says:

    Tim Duncan.

  7. BigWay says:

    Carlos “the Bimbo” Boozer could use more than a little manimal in his tank

  8. Melo Wade says:

    I agree totally! this Manimal is amazing! great athlete, hustle on every rebound and outwork opponent! i see him becoming a great PF in the next few years!

  9. htb says:

    what do the list of players at the end of the article mean? what do all those players, plus the Manimal, have in common?

  10. dattebayo says:

    I’d love for D-Will from the Wolves to find that Manimal inside of him. He looks too often lost on the floor and if he could just get more rebounds, play better defense and score at the rim at least once a game, it would really help his team.

  11. big cat says:

    id like to see my Toronto raptors move AB andrea bargnani for this faried kid , been watching him this yr and last yr one word to describe him BEAST lol I guess a half man half animal is a beast

  12. RJ says:

    Blake Griffin and LeBron James. Their motors are really on and off.

    • Dommy says:

      I’d say Lebron is more efficient he puts up unbelieveable numbers everynight so he doesnt really have to be manimal-like

  13. stan says:

    we love us some Manimal here in Denver

  14. steppx says:

    excellent piece. I loved Faried out of Moorehead State………and feel vindicated by his success. But my god, the laziness of guys like Bargnani is shocking when you look at the Manimal. Id add, besides those listed, Bynum for sure…..and Demarcus Cousins, and gerald green too, really. Kris Humphries…..borderline, same with Deron.

    • RJ says:

      Chris Bosh. He’d be averaging 14 rebounds and over 2.5 blocks. Somewhere in there.

    • Ree-lOAD says:

      Bynum is a stud when healthy, 20-20 threat every night…….. he plays hard.
      Humphries plays wit the same engine/hustle/motivation as Faried, Just doesn’t have the raw athleticism. That’s the only reason Humphries is even on the court bro. I agree with everyone else but i think you might wanna check the facts on those 2.

  15. googergieger says:

    Glad to see Faried and Denver is getting some much warranted love lately. If a few all stars are going to be injured, it’d be nice to see someone from Denver make it to the big game. Gallo would be my choice. Faried will be an all star and team captain in about two years I reckon. But this year Gallo has become a leader for this team and is finding ways to help his team win. Keep in mind something as subtle as boxing out for his team(the team rebounds better when he is on the court) goes a long way into making the Manimal look unstoppable and goes a long way into helping this team get the ball for a quick outlet and score.

  16. Max says:

    You are only born with Manimal inside your tank. It doesn’t just come from thin air…