Minutes after Jason Collins revealed he was gay on April 29, a certain Denver Nugget fired up his iPhone to send out an urgent tweet. He wanted to be the first to give a standing ovation, the first to say the world was a better place. It took him about 60 seconds to type his words in, and, presto, Kenneth Faried was in the fray again:
Wow this is amazing all smiles. So so happy Jason Collins came out &announce he was openly GAY…ALL SUPPORT OVER HERE #ATHLETEALLY #LGBT
Predictably, there were immediate tweets about his tweet. Some were heartfelt and upbeat:
Choosing new fave NBA players based off Jason Collins reactions; shout out to Kenneth Faried for the best one.
But others were darts right back at him:
Kenneth Faried supporting Jason Collins … he a f** too
Kenneth Faried a lil too happy Jason Collins came out the closet lol
I’m not a hater, but I dunno how I feel about Kenneth Faried’s tweet about Jason Collins. You happy to find out a man is gay?
It was like grade school all over again — Kenneth Faried being called “gay boy” … Kenneth Faried wanting to ball up his fists … Kenneth Faried having to stick up for his mom … and his other mom.
Every rebound tells a story. So Kenneth Faried has hundreds of them. His first tale is about his father, Kenneth Lewis, and his mother, Waudda Faried, who weren’t a couple as much as they were basketball buddies. The two had met while Waudda was working at a warehouse in Newark, N.J., and although they never married, they would together take their young son, Kenneth, to Newark’s inner-city blacktops.
At first, 5-year-old Kenneth used to watch from a bench while Waudda and Kenneth Sr. played in pickup games. Waudda would be the only female on the court, but because she tied her hair into tight braids, wore a baggy shirt and was fearless on the court, she’d unintentionally blend in with no one knowing. That’s how talented she was. She had been a star player in high school, the kind of baller who could either lower her shoulder on her way to the basket or step back to shoot the 3. She would also talk ad nauseam. Whenever she’d drain a shot, she’d yap, “Can’t guard me” or “Gonna be a long night.” If one of her male opponents got riled up, Kenneth Sr. would protect her. There was never a dull moment.
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