When the Boston Celtics traded a pair of the most beloved franchise players in my lifetime just over a year ago, it was met with much grief from most fans.
When they saw the name Kris Humphries, two things came to their minds; you and All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo getting into a fight on Christmas day in 2012 or the negative media you had received for things in your personal life.
I saw something different, the Kris Humphries I saw would become the most competitive player the Celtics have had since I became a fan in 2001.
Plugged behind Vitor Faverani, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk and Brandon Bass on the depth chart it was a struggle just to get playing time. Through four games, you had only played once and wound up playing just 28 minutes over the team’s first six games. Every single minute was earned, nothing was given to you and yet you kept pushing on a team that was going nowhere, breaking into the starting lineup by the end of the season.
Your play reminded me so much of the Celtics that I was introduced to years ago. When Boston made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002, that team shouldn’t have been there, after Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker, they just weren’t that good. But that team busted their ass night in and night out and was successful for that reason alone. That roster would have loved to have a Kris Humphries on it, you would have been a perfect fit.
I wish you were still on the Celtics. All season long on this blog I pleaded for Danny Ainge to begin working on something long term and it’s sad that nothing ever came of that.
Since Antoine Walker left, I’ve had trouble calling somebody on the team my “favorite” Celtic. That was pretty easy this year. Once I saw how hard you came to work every day, I instantly loved the player that was Kris Humphries.
Even if us Celtic fans didn’t want to admit it, we all knew it was going to be a long and hard season full of many losses, but it was you who kept me in on this team. I knew as long as you were dressed that night, at least somebody was going to be playing hard and busting their ass for this team.
I have so much faith in Danny Ainge to one day soon turn this ship around and once again build a championship contender. I wish you could be a part of that. When Boston is finally back in the playoffs you may be on another roster, but I will always know you played a role in helping us get back.
Thank you, Mr. Humphries. When the Wizards are in town, the crowd will give a standing ovation to Paul Pierce, and rightfully so. But I’ll be standing for two player when their name is called; number 34 and number 43.
Best of luck next season and over the remainder of your basketball career.
James B. Terry