Kenneth Faried came to the Brooklyn Nets in a salary dump from the Denver Nuggets. Now he just wants an opportunity to show what he can do.
Not long ago, Kenneth Faried was known as the Manimal. The fierce Faried was a beast on the interior despite his 6-foot-8 frame. For most of his tenure with the Denver Nuggets, he started, played crucial minutes, and patrolled the paint.
But he fell out of favor with Mike Malone resulting in a drastic drop in playing time. Over the summer he was sent to the Brooklyn Nets along with Darrell Arthur, a 2019 first-round pick, and 2020 second-round in exchange for Isaiah Whitehead — who was subsequently waived.
Fast forward nearly four months later and Faried once again finds himself consigned to the bench. As the Nets prepare to face his former team on Friday, Faried is still hoping for an opportunity.
“I know all the plays, I know what we’re supposed to do, I know everything as far as basketball goes. I’ve just got to wait for the opportunity and when your number is called. So I’m just waiting for that,” Faried told Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
Nets head coach, Kenny Atkinson has been hesitant to give Faried any meaningful minutes. But Atkinson is attributing his lack of playing time to circumstances.
“He’s great. There’s no room,” Atkinson told Lewis. “He’s going to get his shot. I think him getting hurt in preseason, I just didn’t see him a lot. I haven’t seen him with the lineups. He’s a little bit caught by circumstances.
“But I can’t say ‘Oh, he’s played bad,’ or ‘Oh, he’s not playing well.’ I can’t say that. Some guys, I can. … I’m telling you the honest truth, it’s a situational thing. And the other guys have got to start playing badly for him to get a chance. He’s been great, he understood that and been a man about it.”
It may be true that Faried’s injury is playing a part in his confinement to the bench, but the fact that he isn’t a fit for Atkinson’s system definitely plays the bigger role. The Nets rarely play with two bigs on the court and Atkinson prefers to have shooters on the court. Faried is no threat to step out and shoot from beyond the arc.
At some point, Faried will get his chance. Injuries, suspensions, and unforeseen circumstances are an inevitability. He’ll just need to be ready when the opportunity presents itself.