Just give Kris Humphries a chance, he'll prove you wrong.

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Kris Humphries hustles, grinds, and has heart. What is there not to like?

I understand it can be fun to dislike professional athletes, but I implore Boston Celtics fans to reserve their judgments and give Kris Humphries a chance this season. Hump brings a lot of talent to the floor and I believe any hate that you may feel for him is unwarranted.

Yeah, I know. Kris Humphries married Kim Kardashian. He's all over TMZ. He might even have a "Jersey Shore bro" type of attitude about him. Okay, does it really matter at all? Maybe you think Humphries is attention seeking for marrying Kardashian...so what? Why should anyone dislike a basketball player for that reason?

It's irrational hate, that's all I'm saying. Not only that, but that stage of his life is gone. It's in the rear view mirror; Kris is looking forward, and so should you. We should instead be focusing on how he fits with the Boston Celtics and what he brings to the court.

The Celtics are generally known for their heart and grit, perhaps it was the culture that Kevin Garnett brought here, or maybe it's the fact that the city of Boston imprints that attitude onto its teams. Either way, I think Kris Humphries will be well received by Celtics fans if they just give him a chance in the first place.

Here are a few questions for the skeptics: Do you like hard-nosed rebounders? Hump is exactly that. How about players that dive on the floor for loose balls? Yes, that too. What about someone that runs the floor hard and gets ahead of the defense for transition opportunities? You guessed it; he brings that to the court too.

One of my favorite Celtics in the last ten years is Leon Powe because of his ability to crash the offensive boards and then find the blue sky for a basket. I appreciate players that have the instincts to know where the ball is going to bounce, but also the heart to go chase it down. Kris Humphries brings that to the Celtics.

Humphries averaged 10.7 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game during the 2010 and 2011 seasons, and did so in an especially impressive fashion, since he had 58 double-doubles over those two seasons. Seriously, just think about that. In 136 games over that span he had a double double in 42 percent of them. He would've had even more if it weren't for the fact he didn't get much playing time early in 2010 or the lockout in 2011. Humphries is a rebounding machine and there is no arguing against that, period.

Here's the thing: Hump is more than just a rebounder. Even though he only averages a little over one block per game when he actually receives playing time, anytime I watch Kris Humphries I notice him making plays on the ball. Hump gets the majority of his blocks when chasing players down from behind, which is a sign that he never gives up on a play.

It's plays like that have made me respect Kris Humphries as an NBA player. He dives for the floor for loose balls and hustles hard on defensively. Sure, he isn't the best technical defender, and will occasionally get crossed up or hedge too hard on pick-and-rolls, but I can forgive that when I know a player is doing everything he can to maximize his abilities.

From an article by Jared Zwerling of ESPNNewYork.com, it appears that Humphries has been working extra hard to take his game to another level this summer. In the in-depth piece, Zwerling outlines how Humphries spoke about how excited he is to play in an up-tempo offense with Rajon Rondo.

New Boston Celtic Kris Humphries spent the summer raising his game. - ESPN Boston
"You get a chance to play with a guy like Rondo, who won a championship and has been an All-Star and done all those things. I'm excited because he's a guy that plays at a high pace the whole game. He's a great passer, whether it's in transition or the half-court. I'm hoping that he gets back as soon as possible. I talked to coach [Brad] Stevens a lot about playing at an up-tempo pace -- get out there and run. So I'm prepared to do that. I think that will be great for everyone. We have a lot of younger guys, so I think to play at an up-tempo pace will give us a chance to compete every night."

Zwerling goes onto to mention how Humphries worked extra hard this summer to improve his game. Hump usually works with three trainers in Minnesota, but this year he spent a lot of time in Los Angeles, working on his Pilates and yoga workouts, and worked out with some of the most experienced NBA player developmental coaches, Phil Weber.

Weber had previously helped other forwards develop (most notably Amar'e Stoudemire) a jump shot and he believes Humphries is on his way to doing the same. Hump's greatest weakness offensively is his inability to stretch the floor, but it's possible we will see a new dimension of his game this season.

New Boston Celtic Kris Humphries spent the summer raising his game. - ESPN Boston
"Kris had about as hard a working month as I've ever seen. He's in unbelievable shape," Weber said. "He just worked, worked, worked, and the last workout before he went back to Minnesota -- after about five weeks of hard work -- he made 15 in a row from the elbow and 10 in a row from the corner 3. Kris is transforming his game, and his belief level is starting to soar. He was playing really well over in Clipperland. I went and saw him play one day and he looked great."

Weber was especially impressed with Humphries' new step-back jumper, which will be a key weapon when he faces opposing power forwards and centers.

"For a big 5 to guard him, he can blow by him with one dribble because of his quickness," Weber said. "So if he has a step-back? Thinking of his game and the evolution of him, it was a necessity because he's got the quickness and now he can make an elbow jumper at a higher percentage. Once you can make that consistent elbow jump shot and you have quickness on your opponent, you become almost unguardable or you've just become really beneficial to a team."

What if Phil Weber is right and Kris Humphries has added something new to his arsenal? We already know he brings hustle to the table, but what if he brings a jump shot too? Humphries could be in for a huge payday next offseason, and maybe by that point Boston Celtics fans will be nagging at Danny Ainge to give him an extension.

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