Denver Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried stepped into the national spotlight over the weekend, lighting up the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge game by scoring forty points, pulling down ten rebounds and earning MVP honors, and then wowing the crowd with one of the best dunks of Saturday night's Slam Dunk Contest. The second-year player, who earned the starting job as a rookie last season, didn't win that contest, but he has certainly won the hearts of Denver fans for both his play on the court and for his attitude off of it. Here are five of Faried's most memorable moments.5) Dropping an "S-bomb" on live TV
Normally, swearing on live TV doesn't get you a lot of points, which is what makes Faried's S-bomb -- in reaction to his stats from a great game in early January -- so notable. Rather than taking heat for it, Faried actually got some good attention in the form of a Deadspin headline that read, "'Shit!': A Surprised And Adorable Kenneth Faried Reacts To His Own Dominance
."4) Puking in a towel and heading back into the game
Faried is easily the hardest-working Nugget on the court, regularly putting up double-digit numbers when it comes to both points and rebounds, and triple digits when it comes to intangibles. Just how hard does he work? Hard enoughto throw up mid-game
and then head back into the action, which is what he did in December.3) Career night in 2012
On April 9, 2012, just a few weeks after taking over the starting job, Faried threw down in a game against the Golden State Warriors, scoring 27 points and pulling down 17 rebounds in a physical performance that solidified his nickname, the Manimal.
In January, Faried appeared on TV in support of civil unions -- an unusual place for a professional athlete these days. But the issue has particular meaning for him, since he grew up with two moms, Waudda and Carol, who have been together for ten years and married for nearly six years. Appearing with them in a video, Faried showed more courage than he would need for the toughest basketball game: "No one can tell me I can't have two moms," he said, "because I really do."
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Faried didn't win the slam-dunk contest on Saturday night, but he could have -- based on the pure power and grace of an off-the-glass, between-the-legs slam that he put down. It earned him a perfect score from the judges and inspired the announcer to speculate that Faried might actually be able to do the same thing in a real game.
More from our Sports archive: Video: "Trevor Wages' backboard-shattering School of Mines dunk makes ESPN top ten".