Kenneth Faried wanted to give everyone a taste of what has in story Saturday night for the Sprite Rising Stars Slam Dunk Contest. This weekend was his formal announcement onto a national stage. Basketball junkies and Nuggets fans already knew about the "Manimal" and his unrelenting effort.
Now the league's rookies and sophomore know about it too.
Faried led Team Chuck to a 163-135 win over Team Shaq with 40 points and an MVP trophy, throwing down an array of dunks and challenging — yes, challenging — shots ont he other end. Faried was the guy cleaning up the glass and giving the most effort and was the standout of an exhibition game that often turns into a dunk contest.
Oh, there was that too. Plenty of dunks.
But it was Team Chuck's 3-point barrage that helped propel them to victory yet again. They hit 17 of 32 3-pointers and were simply making shots at a crazy efficient rate. Oh, the benefits of no defense.
The show was fantastic for most of the way. Kyrie Irving did his best to steal the show with 32 points and a fantastic one-on-one dribbling showdown with Brandon Knight. Knight will probably want to forget his trip to Houston.
Irving and Faried will be a big part of Saturday night as both of these sophomores are taking to the big stage they are playing on.
For more on the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge check out the great coverage from the game from for team-specific foci: