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Manimal pumped to go home, play in New York

Denver Nuggets forward and Newark, N.J. native Kenneth Faried is about to fulfill one of his lifelong dreams: Playing at Madison Square Garden.

And Faried isn’t alone in his excitement; about 40 family members will be in his cheering section on Sunday as the Nuggets tip-off against the New York Knicks.

“This will be the first time that they are really seeing me play in person for a lot of my family,” Faried told the Nuggets’ official website this week. “I’m especially excited that my grandmother will get to see me play because she has never seen a game up close in personal in her life. I just want her to be there and experience her first NBA game.”

As a rookie last season, Faried spent the Nuggets’ last matchup against the Knicks on the sidelines.

Since then, the Manimal has proven himself to be a key player on the court and a force in George Karl’s starting lineup. He is averaging a double-double (12.8 points, 10.4 rebounds) in 19 games – all starts – this season for Denver.

“This is always what I wanted to do,” said Faried. “Last year I thought I would have a shot but unfortunately it wasn’t the right time for me to play. Now I get to play and we’ll see what happens.”

Despite all the excitement, Faried knows the magnitude that coming away with a win would have for himself and the Nuggets in New York.

“Of course I’m going to have some jitters because I’ve always wanted to play in the Garden, it’s an exciting place to play. We have to come out of there with a win,” said Faried.

The Nuggets will first play the Indiana Pacers on Friday night before making the trip to New York on Sunday.

For more Nuggets news, click here.

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