Humphries thinks he'll get along fine with Rondo

Humphries thinks he'll get along fine with Rondo
July 15, 2013, 7:45 pm
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WALTHAM, Mass. — It was only a matter of time before the question would be posed to Kris Humphries.

"So, that little spat you and Rajon Rondo had not that long ago ..."

"I knew it was coming," said a grinning Humphries who was among the three new Celtics introduced at a Monday afternoon press conference. "It took a few questions to get there."

The Nov. 28 incident began in the second quarter with Humphries delivering a foul that sent Kevin Garnett tumbling to the floor. Moments later, Rondo was in Humphries face which is when the pushing match began that ultimately ended with Rondo and Humphries spilling into the front row of fans near the Celtics bench.

Humphries, Rondo and Gerald Wallace (another new Celtic) were all ejected from the game for their roles in the incident.

Rondo, considered the aggressor by league officials, was later suspended two games for his role while Wallace and Garnett were fined $35,000 and $25,000 respectively.

Humphries did not receive any additional punishment beyond the initial ejection.

While that November loss to the Nets may be fresh in the minds of some Celtics fans when they see Humphries, it remains to be seen if it'll be an issue for Rondo.

Humphries said he has not talked to Rondo since the trade.

"But I think we'll have a good relationship," Humphries said. "I think it happened within the game. You look at it, it really was nothing. The media tends to blow things out of proportion."

However, Humphries has been around the league long enough to know that simply showing up in a Celtics jersey won't cut it if wants his on-the-floor relationship with Rondo to work.

"I think coming in, I have to do my part to earn his respect in terms of playing hard and contributing to the team and just go from there," Humphries said.

A big part of that will simply get back to being the double-double machine he was during the 2011 (10 points, 10.4 rebounds) and 2012 (13.8 points, 11 rebounds) seasons.

Last year, Humphries averaged just 5.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

Humphries said the explanation for his decreased production is simple.

"Fewer minutes," he told "You can't produce if you don't play as much. Hopefully I'll get an opportunity to get on the floor more this upcoming season and help the Celtics win."

Not surprisingly, Humphries' two most productive seasons (2011 and 2012) in the NBA were also the seasons in which he played the most minutes.

In 2011, he averaged 27.9 minutes per game and followed that up with a career-high 34.9 minutes of action in 2012.

But last season, Humphries saw his role diminish to 18.3 minutes per game with the emergence of Brook Lopez into an All-Star.

Like the incident with Rondo, Humphries is looking to leave last season in the past and instead look ahead to what he hopes will be a promising season.

"This is a chance to start over, get back to hopefully doing some of the things I've done earlier in my career," Humphries said.

And yes, a reset on his relationship with Rondo is also part of the plan.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, has indeed has some fun with the incident in retrospect.

"It might have been a flop," quipped Ainge. "I don't think Rondo can push Kris down that easily."

Said Humphries: "It was a funny situation. I was joking with him (Ainge) earlier about throwing the ball full court at a certain person's face."

During a 1994 playoff game between Houston and Phoenix, Ainge, who played for Phoenix, fired a pass supposedly the length of the floor that didn't go any further than a few feet in front of him - right upside Mario Ellie's head.

Earlier in the game, Ellie had scored while being fouled by Ainge and immediately got in Ainge's face.

Humphries reminded Ainge how despite that moment, things turned out pretty good for him and Ellie.

"They're friends now," quipped Humphries. "So it's all good."