Kenneth Faried explains why he felt so comfortable signing with Houston
Kenneth Faried has had a long road back to NBA relevance after his last few years in Denver panned out completely different than what he expected after a surge early in his career. The former free agent big man signed with the Houston Rockets earlier this year to fill the void following Clint Capela’s thumb injury, yet he’s still maintained a comfortable role with Houston after switching back to the bench.
“I felt really good coming here because [D’Antoni] is one of those coaches who really allows you the freedom offensively to play and then expects you to be on top of your game as a professional in every aspect,” said Faried when asked of the reason he signed with the Rockets, according to Sekou Smith of NBA.com. “Whatever the scheme is, whatever the program is, that’s on you to be on point. But offensively, he lets us all play free and loose.
“If he sees you working on your 3-point shot and working your tail off on your game, he’s going to encourage you to do the same things in a game. He knows that’s the only way you’re going to get better is to take those things you’re working on and know what it feels like to have that success. The bottom line is he’s going to give you a chance. It’s up to you, though, what you do with that chance.”
Faried was given that freedom to explore his openings, taking and making a 3-pointer in his first game, which allowed his game to add another layer of dimension, while still being the high-motor guy that he’s been throughout his time in the league.
“When I first came here they let me know they were going to play me off the bench behind Nene that first game so I could get acclimated. Cool. Then it was ‘now we’re going to start you because Capela’s gone, so you better figure it out.’ So I had to figure it out when I got out there. And I did.”
The Manimal is still getting decent minutes under Mike D’Antoni, who has used him as a matchup problem and another lob-catching threat to pair with clinical playmakers like Chris Paul and James Harden. This new partnership has changed Faried’s career for the better, likely putting some value on his name after spending the last two-plus seasons majorly under the radar.