EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Kris Humphries is adamant that his No. 1 priority is basketball, but his highly-publicized mess of a divorce with Kim Kardashian had to be somewhere in the back of his mind.
With the Nets set to host the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series, the reserve power forward officially doesn’t have to worry about his ex-wife anymore.
Humphries and Kardashian reached a settlement on their divorce late Thursday evening and finalized it on Friday morning. TMZ and the Daily News initially reported the news on Friday morning.
“I always keep it usually about basketball, but I would never let something get in the way of basketball,” Humphries said following practice at PNY Center. “I would never miss a playoff game or anything like that, so, for me, it makes decisions easy. This was a no-brainer.
According to the Daily News, the process was quickened after Humphries met with team officials on Thursday about the prospect of him missing practices and playoff games to attend the settlement hearing, which was slated for Friday morning in Los Angeles.
The original plan was to take the case to court beginning May 6, but that would have all but ensured missed games in order to get his marriage annulled on the premise that it was created for a reality television show that aired on E! Entertainment.
Officials were reportedly unhappy with the possibility, which led to a quick resolution of the marriage, which lasted only 72 days.
“I’m focused on basketball, so it’s something where I’m out here practicing and playing,” Humphries said. “I would never let anything get in the way of basketball.”
It’s been a difficult year for Humphries, not only on a personal level, but on the court as well.
One of just five players in the NBA to average a double-double (13.8 PPG, 11.0 RPG) last season, Humphries re-signed with the Nets for two years and $24 million. He was the opening night starter at power forward, but soon lost that spot to Reggie Evans, who has emerged as one of the league’s most efficient rebounders.
For the season, Humphries is averaging just 5.8 points and 5.6 rebounds in just 18.3 minutes per game. Over the last two games, he is averaging 15.5 points and 8.0 rebounds and figures to play a key role in this series, especially because of a big, physical Bulls front line that features Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson.
In the last Bulls-Nets regular season game on April 4, Boozer scored 29 points and hauled in 18 rebounds in a 92-90 Bulls win.
“I know he’s gonna come in here with a lot of confidence, we gotta take him out of his game,” Humphries said of Boozer. “For them, they thrive on a lot of offensive rebounding, playing off of him, playing off of (Luol) Deng, so we just have to come out, match their intensity, play good defense and hopefully don’t give them any second shots.”
Josh Newman is SNYNets.com’s Field Reporter. Follow him on Twitter for up to the minute news and banter on all things related to the Brooklyn Nets and the NBA