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Slam Dunk Contest 2013 participants: Kenneth Faried, the Manimal, is a threat

Along with his ferocious dunking style, Kenneth Faried has another built-in advantage over his counterparts -- his nickname.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to a style of play, including his aggressive dunks, that is frenetic and intense, Kenneth Faried of the Denver Nuggets already has an advantage over his counterparts heading into the 2013 NBA Slam Dunk Contest -- a memorable nickname.

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"Manimal" has a reputation that precedes him. He's a bundle of energy and a mix of compact strength and athleticism that allows him to do things like this to the rim:

Faried has established himself as one of the league's most recognizable dunkers because he's constantly moving. Whether he's running the floor on a fast break, moving without the ball or crashing the offensive glass, Faried is often in position to dunk, and playing with pass-happy point guards Andre Miller and Ty Lawson in Denver has certainly helped his reputation:

But don't think Faried is only reliant on point guards to set up his dunks. Check out this self-assist from his days at Morehead State:

Faried obviously has the substance to be considered among the game's best dunkers. In the dunk contest, however, style also counts, and the Manimal brings that, as well. His look, his energy and his natural charisma with the crowd are all elements that could help him in the dunk contest.