Faried plays e≠ectively after “very scary” time
Nuggets forward goes from hospital to starting lineup
When Sunday night’s game against Portland started, Kenneth Faried was where he always was, in the Nuggets’ starting lineup. He smiled while dunking in the layup line. He bounced around in typical “Manimal” fashion.
And then he went out and scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 112-106 loss.
Less than 24 hours earlier, though, Faried was immobilized on a stretcher at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., where an inadvertent hit to the back of the neck by teammate Will Barton resulted in a cervical injury.
Even though it was clear Faried had movement in all of his extremities, every precaution was taken to make sure he would be OK. Faried was admitted to an Oakland-area hospital and stayed the night.
“It was very scary,” Faried told The Denver Post. “I just kept contemplating — praying — that I wasn’t really hurt to where I wasn’t going to be able to walk again. It was one of those types of things that they kept saying they had to do certain stuff and everything was precautionary. I was like, ‘I’m good, just let me up, just let me try to walk.’ They kept saying no because of the spot I got hit at. But due to the blessings of Allah, I was able to play.”
Faried flew home Sunday morning and said he knew shortly after he arrived at the Pepsi Center for Sunday night’s game that he would try to play.
“My teammates looked at me and said: ‘We need you. If you can go, then please help us, and if not we understand,’ ” Faried said. “My coaches and everybody — coaching staff, front-office people — were just asking me if I can go. I’m cut from a different cloth, you know? I’ve been through a lot in my life, and I just knew if I could go I was going to go. So, I was able to go.”
He played 27 minutes. Six of his nine rebounds came on the offensive glass.
Asked how he felt, Faried said, “Sore, scared.”
“I took some hits in the same spot,” Faried said. “I don’t think it was intentional. But I just kept trying, kept giving it a go.”
Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried indicates to fans Saturday night in Oakland, Calif., that he is OK as he is wheeled out on a stretcher. Marcio Jose Sanchez, The Associated Press