It’s hard to argue that the New Jersey Nets shouldn’t be getting booed. They’ve won 10 of 34 games heading into their final contest before the All-Star break tonight against Orlando. That said, it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense that Kris Humphries has been the target of such disdain throughout the season.
Humphries, of course, rose to fame by marrying Kim Kardashian, an arrangement that didn’t last very long at all. That said, I can’t imagine he went into the whole situation simply looking for fame, and it’s not his fault people love to watch such silly television. The bottom line is the guy is averaging more than 13 points and more than 1o rebounds a game, so give him a break.
Kris Humphries joined ESPN Radio with Scott Van Pelt to discuss beating the Knicks, a chat he had with Jeremy Lin, Deron Williams playing with a chip on his shoulder, reacting to negative vibes from the fans, what he makes of the negativity that built from things that happened off the floor, maneuvering through uncharted waters in that regard and surprising people by averaging a double-double.
You guys beat the Knicks 100-92 on Monday. How important was that game to you guys?:
“It was important because they had the crowd going with them. They’re all hyped up, Linsanity, all that. It was an important game for us to get out to a really good start and play from ahead.”
You talked to Jeremy Lin after the game. What was that all about?:
“I saw him in the tunnel outside the locker room after the game. I’ve kind of known him since his rookie year because we did an autograph signing thing in L.A. at the All-Star game last year. He’s a really nice guy and he just said, ‘I don’t know why they boo you, but I think it’s crap and you’re playing really well.’ That was nice of him to say. He’s a really nice guy, a competitor and it’s nice to see great things happen for nice people.”
How good is Deron Williams when he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder?:
“The guy is unbelievable. I get a chance to see it every day. I always say he’s one of those guys who’s capable of scoring 30, really 40, and he could have a game with 20 assists as well. There’s not a lot of point guards that can score that well or distribute that well.”
Do you try to embrace the negative energy that often comes your way during games?:
“I love a hostile environment. There’s nothing better than sending 19,000 people home upset [Monday] night in the Garden. We love that. People are out there getting rowdy, whether they’re booing me or not. But to get a win like that felt great and sometimes you’ve just got to mess with the crowd back.”
What do you make of getting that negative attention and booing for things that happened away from the floor?:
“I think that sometimes the typical sports fan that comes to the game may not understand you or kind of looks at it as ‘Why are you doing this or that?’ At the end of the day it’s about coming to the gym and what you do on the court. I think true basketball people respect guys that, no matter what’s going on in their life, they approach the game the same way — focus and play hard. People have been aggressive on the road, but no one is supposed to cheer for you on the road, so it’s all good.”
True, but your rise to fame was kind of uncharted waters. Is it safe to say there was no handbook on how to handle all of that?:
“I always just say life happens and you just roll with it. One thing, through everything that’s gone on in the past, is that basketball has always been extremely important, no matter what I’m doing. I devote a ton of time to basketball whether people see that or not. When I come on the court, people have got to know that they’re not getting cheated as a fan, especially at home. I’m out there well-prepared and ready to do what I’ve got to do.”
Do you think you’ve surprised people by averaging a double-double?:
“I think that anytime you’ve got a lot going on in your life, people want to say, ‘Hey, maybe this is more important than basketball’ or other things, ‘He’s distracted.’ … I don’t ever want Coach Johnson to come in and say, ‘You look like you’re not focused. You’re distracted.’ … I work every day to stay on top of my game so no one can ever excuse me of those things.”
Listen to Kris Humphries on ESPN Radio here (Interview begins at 9:40)