Dwight Howard was ejected during the third quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 126-114 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday after he shoved Kenneth Faried to the ground.
Howard earned a Flagrant 2 foul and was immediately ejected for the move. He characterized his shove as a typical “hard foul” and claimed after the game that he was not intentionally trying to injure Faried. Nuggets coach George Karl felt differently.
“I thought he went intentionally to endanger him,” said Karl. “Kenneth, it looked like he was pretty stunned after that.”
What could have driven Howard to make such a dirty play? Faried thinks he got in Howard’s head with his play.
“I was getting in his head and he couldn’t get the rebounds,” said Faried, via the Los Angeles Times. “He wanted to, but I kept getting every rebound. It’s not like I said anything or talked to him. I just play.”
Faried says the Nuggets were out for revenge on Howard, whom he says did a lot of “laughing and giggling” during the Lakers’ 122-103 win over Denver on Nov. 30.
Faried, who is averaging a double-double this season, had 21 points and 15 rebounds in the win. He played like an animal, and definitely earned his “Manimal” nickname. How did he get the “Manimal” nickname? By doing exactly what he did to Dwight Howard.
Here’s Faried giving the background on his nickname to The Denver Post:
“So one of the guys from my agency came up with the name “Manimal” because I play hard, I’m frearless, I don’t care who the person is who I’m facing and I am going to challenge him. I am going to box out, I’m going to rebound So one of the guys from my agency came up with the name “Manimal” because I play hard, I’m frearless, I don’t care who the person is who I’m facing and I am going to challenge him. I am going to box out, I’m going to rebound.”
Howard is awaiting word from the league on whether he will face additional punishment. For as nice and charming of a guy off the court he seems to be, he can actually be pretty vicious on it.