Kenneth Faried Named 2013 NBA Rising Stars Challenge MVP

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2013

Feb 15, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Team Chuck forward Kenneth Faried (35) of the Denver Nuggets reacts to making a three-point basket during the first half of the rising stars challenge during the 2013 NBA All-Star weekend at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Kenneth Faried outshone Kyrie Irving in the 2013 NBA Rising Stars Challenge to win MVP honors.

The league went to its Twitter account to congratulate the sophomore forward:

Faried was a part of Team Chuck, which managed to score the most points ever in a Rising Stars Challenge game with their 163-135 win. As the announcers stated multiple times during the game, Team Shaq played absolutely no defense whatsoever. Of course, it is an All-Star Game, so scoring is in abundance, but there should at least be a shred of effort on the defensive end of the floor.

The MVP of last year's game, Irving, found himself with the opportunity to defend his crown. Coming in it was doubtful that he'd be able to repeat last year's 8-of-8 shooting performance from three-point range, as he had to save himself for the rest of All-Star Weekend's festivities.

Irving put on a show, especially in the second half, but it wasn't enough to overcome the total performance that Faried had displayed for the entire game. He was the leading scorer for the game with 40 points and added 10 rebounds.

A game like this was the perfect showcase for somebody like Faried.

He has freakish athleticism, so the second-year forward had the opportunity to make highlight dunks. As one of the few players who did play defense, his play on that end of the court was also in stark contrast to just about every other player in the game.

It's a deserved honor and exemplifies everything he's done this season. Faried has certainly played a fairly significant role for the Denver Nuggets as they sit fifth in the Western Conference.