One continuous storyline from the Denver Nuggets’ 2017-2018 season revolved around the Manimal. Kenneth Faried has gone from a key part of the team that won 57 wins in 2012-2013 to a player that has hardly seen the floor this season. While most fans probably knew Faried would not log as many minutes as he has at certain points in his career after the acquisition of Paul Millsap, I’m sure it came as a shock to many to see that Faried would garner so many “DNPs” this season. In fact, his last action was February 1, 2018 in which he played just over 9 1⁄2 minutes.
Faried, who has by all appearances stayed classy and remained supportive of his teammates throughout the season despite his limited role, continued the positive attitude when he took to social media after the season ended. See the below Twitter post from Sports Illustrated highlighting Faried’s note on Instagram to Nuggets fans.
Manimal will be unleashed next season— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 12, 2018
(via @KennethFaried35) pic.twitter.com/hDYyjiGpZV
No matter how you feel about Faried and his impact on the basketball court, I’m not sure there’s a fan out there that could read this post without gaining respect for Faried. It had to be extremely challenging for him to have such a limited role on the team that he has been on since the start of his career. The fact that Faried continued to support his teammates through the ups and downs and still took the time to recognize the fans for their own support says a lot about his character.
Since it’s probably safe to say that if the Manimal is indeed unleashed next season, it will be on another team (assuming Millsap, Mason Plumlee, and Trey Lyles are all still on the roster next season), this post will only leave Nuggets fans with that much more fondness towards #35 if and when we do have to say farewell.
Although I’ll mostly remember the energy and passion that Faried played with above all else, his reaction to this season will also not be soon forgotten.