For the second consecutive season, the Denver Nuggets will not be represented in the NBA All-Star Game. While there is a strong case to be made that their two leading scorers Danilo Gallinari and Ty Lawson have been playing at an All-Star caliber level in 2013, dreadfully slow season starts and a talent-rich Western Conference left them far outside the bubble of serious consideration.
This does not mean, however, that Nuggets players will be completely absent from All-Star Weekend. Last week when the NBA announced the rosters for the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, Kenneth Faried received the honor of being selected to the sophomore team. While it may fall short of being named a full-fledged All-Star, this remains a fairly prestigious distinction for an NBA underclassman.
And he may just get the chance to showcase his acclaimed athleticism in an even brighter limelight.
Yesterday, Nuggets radio announcer Jason Kosmicki tweeted: “I’m hearing Faried may be in slam dunk contest.” If his sources are correct, the Manimal will have the opportunity to showcase his talent on two of the most prominent stages outside the big game itself.
Additionally, Matt Moore of CBS and Hardwood Paroxysm tweeted that JaVale McGee has expressed interest in making a second appearance: “JaVale says he would do dunk contest, has NOT been asked.”
The last Denver player to enter the contest was J.R. Smith in 2009, but he failed to deliver on the high expectations Nuggets fans had going in. So the prospect of having both Kenneth and JaVale representing the Nuggets, and getting the chance to display their creativity and athleticism individually and as teammates, sounds pretty good in my book.