Kris Humphries came to the Celtics this summer in the deal that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Nets, which launched Boston’s rebuilding project at the very same time.
It’s never easy to go from a playoff team to an expected lottery team, and Humphries made it clear that he’s going to do what he can to help his team win.
And that means he wants no part of any “tanking situation” that may come up with the Celtics.
“Last year was a tough situation, up and down. For whatever reason, sometimes things just don’t work out,” Humphries said. “No real fingers to point; I’m just in a different situation now. I’m motivated and I’m looking to make the most out of it. It’s funny, of all the places I would end up, I never thought I would play in Boston, but just from being around those guys, it should be exciting. We’re out to try to prove that we’re a team that can compete every night, and whenever people sort of write you off, it’s a lot of motivation.
“I’m not looking to be a part of a tanking situation. I know that [president of basketball operations] Danny Ainge has said that they’re not looking to tank, and I’m sure Brad Stevens coming in is definitely not looking to do that. So it’s just about competing and bringing it every night. We’re going to have to figure out ways to win and continue to get better, and it starts with camp.”
The whole “tanking” question is one of intent at the organizational level, when a team doesn’t do everything it can to attempt to field a competitive, winning roster. It has virtually nothing to do with players and coaches.
The Philadelphia 76ers are a prime example of this entering next season. They didn’t bother to hire a head coach until long after the draft, and also haven’t bothered to spend the league-mandated minimum amount of salary in assembling the roster — a roster which is woefully inadequate from an overall talent perspective.
What the SIxers have done? That’s tanking. Players and coaches, however, are never involved in playing at half speed or making in-game decisions that would see their teams lose games. In that regard, Humphries has little to worry about in his new situation with the Celtics.