Kris Humphries and LeBron James

Before this NBA season began, Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research conducted a survey on Forbes.com to ask people which NBA player they dislike the most. You might have expected LeBron James to win that survey, but he finished second. Must have been Kobe Bryant then, right? Nope, third. When the results were released on December 22, the most disliked player in the NBA was revealed to be… Kris Humphries?

Yep, the former Mr. Kim Kardashian was voted to be the most hated on out of all those who say they get hated on. What exactly did he do to draw this ire, aside from being a bit of a black hole when he gets the ball? He participated in a popular reality show and a brief but highly publicized marriage that I’m confident he didn’t know was a sham. Hell, I’m confident he doesn’t know what city he’s in sometimes — I don’t think Kris is particularly bright.

I never watched the reality show that Kris was a part of — I think it was Kourtney and Kim Take New York, but I don’t really keep up on these things — but my wife did and she swears that the worst thing you could say about him is that he seems a little dim. As a Raptors fan who watched him play for my team for three years, I already knew this. I certainly never hated the guy for it. In fact, I was bummed out when he was traded to the Mavericks and I predicted he’d break out at some point if he finally got some playing time. That turned out to be one of my rare basketball predictions that actually came true.

Why am I bringing up this survey now? Because the ugliness of player-hating reared its head again last week when TMZ reported that Allen Iverson’s earnings would be garnished to pay off an $850,000 debt he owed to a jewelry store. Predictably, the haters started chirping on Facebook, Twitter and message boards about how Iverson was destined to go broke and how it would serve him right.

Now we all know haters don’t like to do research to back up their hatin’ — that would take away from valuable hatin’ time. But a quick Google search about Iverson’s finances revealed that he earned $150 million in his NBA career, at least $100 milion in endorsement deals, and he has a deal with Reebok that pays him $5 million a year for the rest of his life. You read that right — for the rest of his damn (and possibly damned) life. I don’t know guys, I think he’s gonna be OK on the cash money front.

Player-hating isn’t new, but it seems to be more prevalent now than it’s ever been, and I don’t like it. Don’t get it twisted — I’m perfectly fine with hating a player for what he does on the court. Bruce Bowen used to send me into hard orbit on a regular basis with his dirty defensive antics that included sliding his foot under a jumpshooter so he would twist his ankle on the way down. And I assume I don’t have to explain why Kevin Garnett is my least favorite active NBA player. It also goes without saying that I would have loved both those guys if and when they played for my Raptors.

That’s how NBA fans are supposed to hate. Lakers fans hate the Celtics and vice versa. Cavaliers fans hate LeBron James and the Heat for reasons we’re not likely to forget anytime soon. Magic fans hate their General Manager, Otis Smith. These are all perfectly acceptable forms of NBA hate. But hating Kris Humphries because he was momentarily a part of that Kardashian traveshamockery? That ain’t cool. Lamar Odom managed to crack the top 10 of that most-hated list presumably because of his association with America’s royal-pain-in-the-ass family.

I’d like to propose that we, as a group representing many of the more intelligent and sophisticated NBA fans — I’m referring to the lovely people reading this post — start a campaign to squash senseless player-hating in the NBA. If you’re at a game with a friend and he starts booing Kris Humphries when he comes on the floor, tell him to hush up and remind him that he almost certainly would have done the same thing Kris did if the opportunity presented itself. I’m going to assume that most female fans aren’t going to boo Kris because they actually watched the show and therefore know that he’s mostly just a harmless lunkhead.

While we’re at it, isn’t it time to move on from believing that LeBron James is the devil? Yeah, “The Decision” was a bad idea. We’ve all agreed on that. But that was a year-and-a-half ago. Can we get over it and admit that he’s one of the most awe-inspiring players to ever set foot on a basketball court? I’m not saying you have to root for him or that you should even be fine with the Heat winning a championship. But the vitriol he continues to receive from so many fans is now pre-marinated in lamesauce. Note: Cavs fans are allowed to continue to hate LeBron until he sheds his mortal coil.

No movement can gain any traction without a good slogan, and I’ve got one. From now on, when you encounter a player-hater who judges an NBA player based mostly on what he does off the court, respond with: “Don’t hate the player, hate his game.”

Comments (31)

  1. Raptors traded Kris Humphries to Dallas not NJ

  2. Nice catch. Fixed.

  3. Thank you! It tires me to go out to watch my Blazers with my friends to listen to the boring chatter of others hating on some player for whatever perceived character flaw, or slight to our team. Sure, I’ve fallen into the trap myself (I remember being pretty damned critical of Birdman in 2009, for whatever reason – even though I’m a white guy with tattoos!), but I generally try and shape whatever “hate” I feel around basketball reasons. Even with a few of my buddies who grew up in Cleveland as lifelong Cavs fans, I try and talk a little reason into mitigating their anger (even if I understand it). However, I will always hate the Lakers after the big three of Shaq, Kobe and Tim Donaghy snatched away our last legitimate chance at a title. Bynum and Artest’s cheap shots to various Blazers, and other players, and Kobe Bryant in general get under my skin. But if Bynum were somehow to land in Rip City? I’d be dancing in the streets. Kobe, maybe so a few years ago, but not so much any more.

  4. hatin’ on LeBron is cool

  5. Kris likes Arrested Development. Lets calm down on the not too bright quips.

  6. Am I the only one who thinks it’s ironic that Scott — legitimate as he is in his analysis — is preaching to *us* about not hating players? Isn’t this the blogger who makes it a point to constantly remind us of Kobe’s woes, regardless of what it is he’s actually doing?

  7. Carlos: Did you read the post? I’ve never criticized Kobe for what he’s done off the court. You either don’t know what “ironic” means or you need to read the post again.

  8. Were the people polled all NBA fans? I think Humphries is probably “hated by most” more than he is “most hated”.

  9. i have a feeling lebron would have topped the charts if everyone polled were actually basketball fans. fans hate lebron for what he did related to basketball. the general public probably doesnt realize or care about his decision and so they voted for humphries whose stupidity and stuff is more public knowledge.

    • That pole would be so interesting to see. And it’s mostly because people still mix “athlete” with “player”. And you don’t earn spectators’ love with whining, taking shortcuts or dunking in the open court.

  10. I think, too, that that survey was more “Which NBA players can housewives name from the top of their head?” than who they ‘hate’ or whatever.

  11. Quote:While we’re at it, isn’t it time to move on from believing that LeBron James is the devil? Yeah, “The Decision” was a bad idea. We’ve all agreed on that. But that was a year-and-a-half ago.

    Just because time has gone by, doenst make it any better. And also i think, that most people hated and do hate LBJ because of the whole circus surrounding The Decision. He courted with all interested teams, when he suppoesdly knew, he was going to team up with D-Wade and Bosh in Miami. He got himself the “chosen one” tattoo. He promised he would win a championship witch cleveland.
    I think there are a lot of things you can Lebron hate for. Doesnt change that he is one of the best on the court.

  12. Dear the OD,

    Let’s talk about this. Chemists, fo realz yo, it has to be addressed.

    The guys you mentioned include Nate Robinson, Jason Terry, Ronny Turiaff, Juwon Howard, Isaiah Thomas, and Juwon Howard.

    Let’s break this down. Of all those names, only JH lacks a tangible connection to the state of Washington. If you can figure a way to somehow include John Brockman, Spencer Hayes, Quincy Pondexter, and Brandon Roy onto that list of weird contributors; and even if you can’t, that’s one hell of an endorsement for drafting literally anyone from Washington, if only for the sake of team chemistry.

    There will be several draftable guys from UW and Gonzaga available in the next three years. How does a GM not take a flyer based on this track record? Explain that to me!

    Sincerely,

    Rob in Seattle

  13. I agree with what you’re saying about hatred, however the hatred for Kris is well deserved. Not being a fan of the Kardasian shows I do watch it from time to time to see the other side of NBA players. For example I’m quite interested to see the episode when it shows Lamar’s reaction to when he found out about the cp3 trade. Anyway, back onto Kris, though i do believe many hate him for being just associated w/ Kim, I believe it was his actions and words on the show that brought him up to the #1 spot. For example: him trying to “out” kim’s friend for being gay… and him calling Kim fat….stupid etc… (although the latter of the two were pretty funny). He does deserved to be boo’d in my opinion, but I agree, most have not seen the show and are hating him for the wrong reasons.

    In the game, hatred should come with a bit of respect. I was born and raised in LA, and i hate the Celtics, but there’s mad respect for Mc.Hale, Bird, and even now for KG, Allen.. all except Paul Wheelchair Pierce… can’t respect him.. never…never… never!!!!

    • Yes. I was going to cite the weird homophobic comments as my reason for hatred. Booing him in every arena didn’t make sense until I saw that clip. If you can’t hate someone for being homophobic/racist/ignorant/an asshole, what can you hate them for?

      Also, I grew up in Eden Prairie, MN near where Kris Humphries lived during his high school career. I used to play a ton of bball at the local lifetime fitness. Him and his dad would kick me+friends off the court so they could practice! Seriously, it’s a health club that I (aka my parents) paid $60/month for! The dude would just bully middleschoolers off the only court in the complex. Asshole.

      Dear Scott,

      I think Kris Humphries is a homophobic asshole. Am I being a bit judgmental? Probably. But aren’t those some good reasons to hate anyone?

    • I still find it amazing how many people from LA hate Paul Pierce, who is from Inglewood. He’s actually my favorite Celtic, and I had mad respect for the fact that he recovered from being stabbed 11 times in order to play bball at a high caliber. I’m born and raised in LA, and I’ll prolly die here, but I never hated the Celtics. Maybe it’s because I’m not a Laker fan.

  14. Great post, Scott, but … FUCK MIKE BIBBY!

  15. It’s totally inappropriate to assume that most female nba fans watched the Kardashian reality show.

    Why did you link back to an espn article able the report instead of the report itself? The Forbes.com piece offers much more substantial discussion of why Humphries made it to the top of the list, citing five recent magazine covers that portrayed him in a negative light. Maybe you should be addressing the letter to People Magazine.

    I’m glad to see you acknowledging that your predictions are rarely right, will this slow you from making ridiculous predictions in the future? 58-8????

  16. I’m guessing this poll was done in a grocery store with a line of house wives. Hump is the only name they recognized.

    Do it in an arena or NBA.com or somewhere with basketball fans, Hump wont even be mentioned.

    My hate on Lebron is because he is changing what a “star player” is all about. It use to mean you were the cog in the wheel that everybody better around you. He has changed it to mean, “I’m so good, why don’t you come play with me, other Star Player?”.

  17. Lebron is still a star player, and if you don’t think he made people around him better just look at what happened to Cleveland when he left.

    The majority of criticism for Lebron is that he CHOSE to go play in Miami with other stars, and he did it on national TV. So far neither decision has panned out, but realistically nobody wins shit by themselves (don’t even say Kobe cuz that’s absolute bs)

    I agree with the blogger…time for us to let go, stop being mad about it and enjoy the basketball and competition this new superteams adds against other stacked teams and future powerhouses (eg Thunder, Chicago, Boston, LA Lakers and Clippers)

  18. I hate Paul Pierce the most.

    I am a Laker fan, so I would’ve kept it at “hate their game” regardless of who he was, but he started talking shit about L.A. fans not appreciating the sport or not being as smart as other fans. Which is really stupid of him to say, especially when he grew up in inglewood. Then the whole wheelchair event. And plus, he has a dogface.

    In the sports world in general I don’t think any NBA player will top my hatred for Frank McCourt though. Fuck that guy.

  19. fuck Humphries!! you’re trying to convince us that we should have respect for a guy who married a women that is famous for basically being a porn star? While you hate on KG because he’s intense and talks shit?. Guys like KG make the league that much more entertaining. He may be a bit much sometimes but the dude bleeds hoops. Dudes marrying sluts for a month to get more famous is exactly what we dont need. I’m tryin to watch basketball here.

  20. NBA fans are into crappy reality TV?
    What a surprise!!

    LeBron is still number one and that one dimensional dunker from the Clippers is starting to climb every time analysts rave about him. Learn to do something else and youll be less annoying.

  21. I have Kris on my fantasy team and people are laughing at me, but I’m damn proud of it! He puts up good numbers and so far I’ve won most of my head-to-heads. Sure, he made one, ONE dumb life decisions, but should that be the basis of hatred and more importantly diminish his skills? I don’t think so.

  22. Not that I have anything against the phrase “hard orbit”, but did you input the definition into Urban Dictionary and then link to it in your own column?

    I know it was added a month ago, but from the similar name and general obscurity it makes me wonder.

  23. Mess: Guilty as charged. I was hoping somebody would notice that. A co-worker introduced me to that expression and I’m a big fan.

  24. I think most haters be hatin’ solely because he was part of that debacle. But to those who watched the show, he earned the hate (he wasn’t just “dim”). As Simmons tweeted when KH was unsigned (not verbatim), “Kris Humphries killed the Kardashian family chemistry in one episode, imagine what he would do to your team over a whole season.” He was rude, insulting, boorish and Aspberger’s-level clueless as to how he came across–and this was when he was getting to know the family, before even the engagement.

    The Lamar Odom hate, however, is just ugly and unwarranted. He comes across as a sweet guy and a great husband/son-in-law/brother-in-law.

  25. That poll was conducted on Forbes.com, not really the website most basketball fans would frequent. Since the likes of Tony Parker and Lamar Odem are on the list, I have a feeling fans of bad TV shows and TMZ were answering the poll questions.

  26. Thank you for this article. As a Celtic fan I often hear my peers rag on Kobe the “rapist”
    I personally hate that type of gutter trashtalk. I hate Kobe because he cost us championships, and as far as I’m concerned, he was never found guilty of anything other than poor judgement.
    Don’t hate the player, hate his game. I like that.

  27. A really helpful work you’ve done. Thanks again for links.

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