Every time Nets forward Kris Humphries touched the ball during the 5:40 he played during the second quarter of Wednesday night’s 88-82 loss to the Knicks at Madison Square Garden, he was serenaded with a tidal wave of deafening boos — a reaction normally reserved only for an opposing superstar.
Instead, they were directed at Humphries, who became a gossip-page staple over the course of the past several months because of his marriage — and subsequent divorce 72 days later — to reality television star Kim Kardashian.
Humphries also has bumped LeBron James from the top spot this season in Forbes’ list of “Most Disliked NBA Players.”
"I was so focused on the game, I couldn’t hear that," Humphries said with a smile afterward.
Though Humphries, who finished with an assist and a steal and missed his only shot, didn’t play in the second half, that didn’t stop the Garden faithful from taking an interest in him again.
The crowd implored Nets coach Avery Johnson to put Humphries in the game several times during the fourth quarter, but weren’t rewarded for their efforts.
"I’ve never heard an opposing player be cheered to be put in the game," said Nets point guard Deron Williams, who finished with a team-high 21 points.
"That was a nice gesture on their part."
It’s only a matter of time before Humphries, who finished last season as one of just six players to average a double-double, returns to the starting lineup at power forward next to center Brook Lopez.
With the divorce proceedings still ongoing, Humphries signed a one-year, $8 million deal this week to rejoin the Nets.