Western Conference News: Nuggets Kenneth Faried Working Out with NBA Legend Hakeem Olajuwon

July 17, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; New York Knicks player Chris Copeland (14) looks on as Denver Nuggets player Kenneth Faried (35) makes a shot in the first half of the game at Cox Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

Hakeem Olajuwon is kind of the guru of post moves.  He’s worked with a number of NBA stars, including Dwight Howard, Amar’e Stoudemire, and now Nuggets big men JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried.

What I really want to know is who has the greater learning curve?  Who is it that will benefit more from his services — Faried or McGee?

Truth be told, as gifted an athlete as McGee is, Faried is quite nearly as blessed.  And I do believe he works harder.  Faried plays nose to the grindstone ball, hitting the boards hard, as he led the NCAA in rebounding his senior year at Morehead State, averaging 14.5 rebounds per game and an average of 12.3 rebounds pre game over his four years at Morehead.

Last season, his per-36 numbers were nearly jaw dropping:  16.4 points per game, 12.2 rebounds per game, and over a block and a half per contest, as well.

He’s down to earth, too, and realizes he has a long way to go in this league.  He will miss Al Harrington.  Last year, in an interview with the Associated Press, Faried touched on the mentorship of Harrington  He cited their friendship and his tutelage as a large reason for his early success in his NBA career.

Hakeem Olajuwon is kind of the guru of post moves. He’s worked with a number of NBA stars, including Dwight Howard, Amar’e Stoudemire, and now Nuggets big men JaVale McGee and Kenneth Faried.

What I really want to know is who has the greater learning curve? Who is it that will benefit more from his services — Faried or McGee?

Truth be told, as gifted an athlete as McGee is, Faried is quite nearly as blessed. And I do believe he works harder. Faried plays nose to the grindstone ball, hitting the boards hard, as he led the NCAA in rebounding his senior year at Morehead State, averaging 14.5 rebounds per game and an average of 12.3 rebounds pre game over his four years at Morehead.

Last season, his per-36 numbers were nearly jaw dropping: 16.4 points per game, 12.2 rebounds per game, and over a block and a half per contest, as well.

He’s down to earth, too, and realizes he has a long way to go in this league. He will miss Al Harrington. Last year, in an interview with the Associated Press, Faried touched on the mentorship of Harrington (see video).  He cited their friendship and his tutelage as a large reason for his early success in his NBA career.


Even prior to Faried entering the NBA, I expected big things, ranking him No. 1 on the list of potential realistic targets for the Orlando Magic to trade up for in the 2011 NBA Draft. He ended up going No. 22 overall to the Nuggets, a bit further than he was expected to fall in the days leading up to the draft. Trading up for him would have been a real option for that Magic team.

Now that Faried is working with Olajuwon, expect him to get very good very fast. He has the intelligence and diligence to maximize the teachings of the master Olajuwon.

He’s going to enter next year with high expectations. He’ll go high in fantasy leagues…

And he should.

Topics: Denver Nuggets, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kenneth Faried, NBA, Western Conference

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