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We live in a world where image is of utmost importance. There are several factors contributing to this phenomenon; one is the fact that life has gotten faster and our attention spans have gotten shorter. The media industry has become dependent on ratings more than ever, and the way the social media evolved has created a competition that puts more focus on sensation and speed over facts and details.1 Now, I am not here to complain but to simply point out that the current state of the media culture have taken some victims, and a new member of the Boston Celtics is among them: Kris Humphries, who is also known as Mr. Kardashian. He is almost universally hated, however what gets lost in that conversation is that he's actually a talented athlete and a quite decent basketball player.

Of course it shouldn't be forgotten that Humphries have more history with the Celtics that contributes to the negative attitude towards him: On top of being an ex-husband of a celebrity, he got into an altercation with Rajon Rondo last year that ended in some ejections and suspensions.2 Oh, and he's going to be the most expensive player on the roster this season. However, I'm here to make the case that he's actually a good signing for the Celtics.

Let me start by throwing random trivia out: Kris Humphries still holds the US national record for the 50-meter freestyle for 10 and under boys. Now, what he achieved when he was a kid doesn't necessarily translate to today, yet it is quite clear that the guy was a talented athlete when he was young and he actually still is. Kris Humphries is not the best offensive tall guy out there, but his per 36 minutes stats have always been more than decent: Except for last year, he scored at least 13 points and pulled down 10 rebounds every season since 2007-08. There is still a reason he was signed to an atrocious contract besides the Nets' stupidity: A strong and athletic hard-worker, an excellent rebounder (career average of 18.1 TRB%) with decent offensive skills isn't that easy to find.

Now, Kris Humphries isn't a remarkable defender and his man-on-man defense is subpar. The Nets were a better team with Humphries off the court than on last year. His opponent counterparts had higher PERs than he did. He is quite prone to turnovers. All that doesn't look great on the CV of a team's most expensive player. However, there are several factors that I believe will work in Humphries' (and Celtics') favor this year.

- He's an expiring contract. Players in contract years usually play with more enthusiasm and up their stats.
- He's finally away from NY scene. That might help him clear his mind and actually focus on basketball.
- He will be coached by Brad Stevens, whose college experience says a lot. That should definitely help him mentally.
- He will play for a team that has rebounding issues. His contribution in that aspect should boost his confidence.

Overall, the Celtics got an overpaid player whose career numbers aren't bad at all. If he actually reinvents himself here, well, awesome; he's either an asset to trade or a solid piece to hold onto. If he doesn't, his contract is expiring anyways; you can either let him go or keep him at a bargain.

When you're entering an "wait we're tanking, aren't we?" season, Humphries is a great guy to have on your roster.

Meet the other new guys: Gerald Wallace & Marshon Brooks.

Follow semioticus on Twitter @semioticusCL


1 This is especially true when it comes to politics: We care more about the candidates' images and rhetoric than their actual political career and actions. I would love to explain this topic further, yet I cannot go into too many details because I would probably lose the reader's interest. Alanis Morissette would find some irony here.
2 Yet again, that incident was completely overblown thanks to the past actions of a blockhead who has changed his name to World Peace since. A lot worse happens in other competitive sports and... Argh, I'm just frustrated.

semioticus (shelbyl) 7/09/2013 02:20:00 PM Edit
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