Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
Kris Humphries will likely have a smaller role this season for the Brooklyn Nets.
Mr. Kardashian. Kate Middleton. Fame seeker.
That's just a few of the (family-friendly) things Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries has been called over the last couple of seasons. One thing he's rarely called is an elite rebounder, but that's exactly what he has been during his time with the Nets.
Humphries was traded to the Nets in the middle of the 2009-10 season as nothing more than a disappointing first-round pick. Since then he has increased his scoring and rebounding each season, capped off with an impressive 13.8 points and 11 rebounds during the Nets final campaign in New Jersey.
While posting career numbers as he filled the gap left by an injured Brook Lopez, Humphries became one of just five players to average a double-double in each of the last two seasons. He joins an elite group: Pau Gasol, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard and Kevin Love.
Unfortunately for Humphries -- and due in large part to his own poor decisions -- the work he has put in on the court has been overshadowed by his tabloid-tainted life off the court. Before last season while big contracts were being thrown around, Humphries had to settle for a one-year deal with the Nets. There also weren't a slew of a suitors lining up this past offseason, before the collapse of the Howard trade to Brooklyn helped Humphries land a two-year, $24 million contract.
Now that he's put up back-to-back impressive seasons and scored a new deal, all signs point to his numbers going down across the board. That's not to say The Hump won't bring the same ferocity to the floor, but with the talent GM Billy King has added to the Nets roster there just won't be the same amount of opportunities.
European star Mirza Teletovic will push Humphries for minutes at power forward and could eventually take his spot in the starting lineup. A suddenly in shape Andray Blatche could also squeeze minutes away from Humphries.
Without another pure center on the roster behind Lopez, Humphries could offset any minutes he loses at power forward by moving over to center.
No matter what his roll ends up being for head coach Avery Johnson, the forward made it clear this week he'll be a happy to do it.
"It's not about anything individual. I think if we play as well as we're preparing to play, no one's going to care who is doing what. It's going to be about we're having a great time winning."
Winning is something Humphries has had a lot of experience with over the years. The troubles in his personal life aside, the eight-year veteran has played a full season for a team with a winning record once in his career, back in 2006-07 when he was with the Toronto Raptors. That team finished first in the Atlantic, before being bounced in the first round by the New Jersey Nets.
Helping to bring a winner to Brooklyn will go a long way towards Humphries being known more for his play on the court and not a reality show punchline.