When the Boston Celtics acquired Kris Humphries as part of a blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets last summer, many speculated that he would be gone before the end of the season.
Humphries’ contract with the Celtics expires at the end of the 2013 campaign, making him a prime candidate to be dealt before the trade deadline. But the veteran center — who long has been known more for his Kardashian connections than his play on the court — said Monday that he’s enjoyed his time in Boston and would love to have a role in the team’s rebuilding process.
“I want to be a part of this whole, building this team and doing all that stuff with the new coach and all that. I want to be here,” Humphries told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “You never know if they want you or they don’t want you or what their plans are, but I like Boston, my teammates. I’m just getting a chance to play with [point guard Rajon] Rondo a little bit now.”
Humphries’ checkered history with Rondo — they nearly brawled in Brooklyn last season — was one of the biggest question marks following the June trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets. Humphries said the time he and Rondo have spent as teammates has changed his perception of the point guard, though.
“Yeah, I’m not going to lie — I never liked him until I got here,” Humphries said. “And then it took me a minute to like him once I got here. He’s a competitor. Even if he’s not scoring points, he’s getting assists. He can really rebound for a point guard, and defensively I was surprised what he was doing in the first quarter [Sunday].
“The more he plays, the more we’re going to grow as a team. Someone new comes back, he’s gotta figure out how to do the most he can in 20 minutes. It’s kind of tricky, and I think you can expect better from him and better from us as we keep going here.”
Humphries, who is averaging 7.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game, has seen a drastic uptick in playing time of late. He was on the floor for 29 minutes during the Celtics’ 93-91 loss to the Orlando Magic on Sunday, grabbing 12 boards and tying his season high with 18 points.