Last Friday, we talked about the reasons Kris Humphries, one of the most inoffensive professional athletes in recent memory, is now considered the most disliked player in the NBA. Simply put, Humphries is paying the price for defying the Kim Kardashian publicity machine, a price he continued to pay on Monday night in Washington, D.C., when he was jeered again as the New Jersey Nets played their regular season opener against the Washington Wizards.
Once again, just as in the game against the Knicks, Humphries was booed during pre-game introductions and then again every time he touched the ball. Here’s what Nets head coach Avery Johnson had to say about the relentless abuse aimed at one of his team’s best players:
“I’m trying to figure out: What did he do? I’m serious. It may be because I don’t follow reality TV — I don’t know all the ins and outs of it. It’s pretty hilarious to me,” Johnson said. “I don’t even know if they know why they’re booing.”
Whatever the reason the fans were booing in Washington, it didn’t seem to have much of an effect on Humphries, who scored 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in a 90-84 win over the Wizards. One night later, as the Nets returned to Newark for their home opener, Humphries was greeted warmly by the hometown fans. However much he might be loved in New Jersey now, it won’t be long before Humphries will be hearing it on the road again, as the Nets travel to Orlando on Thursday night to play Dwight Howard and the Magic.
I wonder if the fans in Orlando will be as eager as the lemmings in New York and Washington to do Kim Kardashian’s bidding. Stay tuned.
Eric McErlain blogs at Off Wing Opinion, a Forbes “Best of the Web” winner. In 2006 he wrote a “bloggers bill of rights” to heintegrate bloggers into the Washington Capitals’ press box. Eric has also written for Deadspin, NBC Sports and the Sporting News, and covers sports television for The TV News. Follow Eric on Twitter.