With the NBA Back in Business, Kris Humphries Remains Benched
Drama off the court has NBA teams shying away from offering a new contract to the free agent.
Lake Minnetonka resident and late-night punch line Kris Humphries is still without a job.
With less than two weeks until the NBA season tips off, Humphries has been left out of the frenzy of free agent signings that has taken place since owners and players finally agreed on a new labor deal earlier this month—ending a lockout that erased the first 12 weeks of the regular season.
The 6-foot-9-inch Humphries made $3.2 million last season playing for the New Jersey Nets and is reportedly looking for a multi-year contract worth in the neighborhood of $5 million a season.
Humphries had the best season of his career last year—averaging double digits in points and rebounds while playing in all but eight games for the Nets. He shot better than 52 percent from the field, a career best, and emerged as one of the league's top rebound specialists. His 10.4 defensive boards per game was fifth-best in the NBA behind the likes of Dwight Howard, Kevin Love and Blake Griffen. Humphries’ 12.54 offensive rebound percentage in 2010-11 ranked No. 202 in NBA history.
But Humphries has become better known for his off-the-court drama than his accomplishments on the hardwood. After a highly publicized courtship and marriage to Kim Kardashian, divorce papers were filed by the new bride after just 72 days of marriage.
So is Humphries' personal life causing NBA teams to shy away from extending the multi-million dollar deal Humphries is seeking? The Nets, Hornets, Nuggets and Pacers are all rumored to have expressed at least some interest in retaining Humphries’ services, according to Yahoo Sports, but with training camps well underway the 26-year-old Humphries remains unsigned.
In one of his only interviews since Kardashian filed for divorce on Halloween, Humphries seemed focused on basketball this week—telling Yahoo Sports, “I approach my job, my life, in the same way that I’ve always done here. There’s not much different for me.”
Although he’s still waiting for a team to call, Humphries has found another way to generate income—signing an endorsement deal with Sector Watches last month reportedly worth $150,000.
Humphries grew up in Minnesota and attended Hopkins High School, leading the school to a state championship in 2002.
In fact, his high school coach, Ken Novak Jr., and Novak’s wife, Shauna, were among the many guests at the Kardashian-Humphries wedding in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Humphries chose the University of Minnesota over a slew of scholarship offers from other top basketball programs, and was the lone bright spot on a poor-performing U of M basketball team in 2004. He left the U of M after his freshman year and was drafted by the Utah Jazz with the 14th pick of the 2004 NBA draft.
He has played in 431 NBA games in his eight-year career.