Only time will tell if, in years to come, we will tell tales of Kenneth Faried's Flu Game. We might gather around the iFireplace or holo-hearth, bounce our grandchildren on our robot knees and recall fondly the fateful random December Tuesday on which the second-year power forward fought his way through illness to kick in 19 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and a steal in 29 minutes to help his Denver Nuggets score a 112-106 win over the visiting San Antonio Spurs.
OK, this probably will not happen. But in the hours and days to come, we can still go to our video-sharing service of choice and relive the moment when the Morehead State product's violent horking sent teammates Kosta Koufos and Ty Lawson scattering during a timeout, and jarred an Altitude Sports television producer into getting as far away from his bench shot as possible:
Ah, live TV.
After the game, intrepid Nuggets beatman Benjamin Hochman ventured where non-puke-fume-averse eagles dare to ask Faried about the task of trying to provide his customary energy on a night where his stomach was roiling:
“[It was] a grind, yes, a top to bottom grind,” he said after the Nuggets’ huge win against the Spurs. “I kept fighting, but it was so hard to produce like I could have. Looking at the numbers, everybody would say I did pretty good. Personally, I believe I can do even better if I was healthy.
“I’m happy we won, but I’m not content. We still have a long way to go in the standings. As long as we take care of home, we should be fine.”
Delivering a pithy, nondescript quote about grinding, effort and getting a W while answering a question about how your body rejected the nutrients you provided ... I mean, there can be no clearer sign of Faried's development as a professional in his second NBA season.
And now, because the bylaws of contemporary athletic fandom clearly state that we must fit each happening into a list so that we may argue about it until we have sapped all joy from our lives, in terms of Recent Memory Sports Puking Power Rankings, I'd slot Faried's gut exorcism in beneath Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez losing it on the mound after putting away the St. Louis Cardinals, Brazilian mixed martial artist Eder Jones' celebratory expulsion after winning a decision and legendary striker Leo Messi throwing up on the pitch during an FC Barcelona match and then recovering to score against Real Madrid. What a gamer.
It might, however, be the best NBA-related puking in recent years. A strong argument can be made for Phoenix Suns coach Alvin Gentry's boot during the 2010 Western Conference finals, because that happened during the playoffs and involved deep-fried avocado, but Gentry didn't log five more minutes of running up and down the floor, trying to defend Duncan and crash the boards, all without spitting up every few seconds. He mostly just got to sit there and hang out with Dan Majerle. That sounds like a way cooler deal. (If I am forgetting any relevant NBA pukings, of course, please let me know in the comments, on Twitter or on Facebook.)
Irrespective of where this particular rejection ranks, I'm just glad Faried had a towel handy, for the sake of Faried's teammates, his coaches, the Pepsi Center staff, the fans in the front row ... well, for everybody's sake, really. Until he's kicked this bug, though, he might want to start carrying a small paper cup around. If it was good enough for Garth Algar, it's good enough for "The Manimal."
Video via Rafael Canton.