Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/7/13
Age accelerates in the NBA as in few other corners of life. Last season Kris Humphries was one of the boys sharing the Brooklyn Nets locker room with Gerald Wallace Keith Bogans Joe Johnson Jerry Stackhouse and Deron Williams. One seismic trade later and Humphries (nine seasons) Bogans (10) and Wallace (12) are old men — kindergarten cops if you will — on a Celtics team that has become an incubator for otherwise young talent. Humphries kids Bogans claiming the forward should only claim nine years of service due to surgery that limited him to five games during the 2011-12 season. But there’s no denying that this is an oil-and-water mix for Humphries who thanks to an extremely movable contract (one year $12 million) could be headed to a contender once trade activity starts to heat up again in mid-December. “Obviously writers write about those possibilities and it’s (C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge’s) job to develop the team for now and the future” Humphries said. “I’ve learned to control what you can control. We’re all coming in for practice and that’s what it is. If you worry about the future then you lose focus on what you have to do today and that’s basketball. Anyone can be traded at any time unless you have a no-trade clause. That’s what it is.” If the mission here was pure unadulterated winning instead of being counterbalanced by development then Humphries 28 could expect a starting role. Prior to last season when his role declined Humphries had averaged a double-double in back-to-back seasons. But something different is being asked of him now. Humphries’ focus is not only on his own game but also a task that has a lot in common with Brad Stevens’ coaching staff. It’s all about the young guys. Humphries understands. “I think I counted we have eight rookies on the roster which is a lot for a team” he said. “Talking to guys and trying to give them pointers which will help the team it’s a reinforcement for yourself. That happens anytime you try to help someone else.” Jared Sullinger and rookie Kelly Olynyk have become personal projects for Humphries. “I’ve talked to both of them” Humphries said. “Jared is a pretty intelligent player. He played a pretty high level of halfcourt defense last year. Those guys have a lot to bring to the table. There are things you can pick up just by being in the NBA. Kelly can post up a little bit too a little slippery in the post. He has a good feel. You can tell he’s got some good coaching along the way.” Sullinger is already reaping some benefits. “What (Humphries) has taught me is to be strong” the second-year forward said. “Kris is a good defender. He can also move his feet. So he just picks and chooses when he wants to be strong and when he wants to be quick. He’s helped me out but he’s helped the whole team with the bigs.”
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