New Jersey Nets power forward Kris Humphries enjoyed one of his most dominant games of the season on Friday night, finishing with 18 points along with game-highs of 17 rebounds and four blocks as the Nets took care of the Toronto Raptors, 116-103, in the NBA's first-ever regular season game on European soil.
ESPNNewYork.com, continuing our daily series from Wednesday, spoke with Humphries via telephone after the win.
ESPNNY: Kris, congratulations on the win. It was one of your most dominating performances of the season. Why were you able to have so much success out there?
Kris Humphries: I felt good. I got out there and got some easy buckets, rebounds and blocks. I started the game kind of setting the tone. We got a great effort off the bench. Sundiata Gaines came in and made some huge plays. So did Johan Petro.
ESPNNY: Speaking of Gaines, where did that performance come from? He had seven points, two assists in that fourth quarter and really ignited you guys down the stretch. Oh, and is he going to be allowed into credit card roulette now?
Kris Humphries: Nah [Gaines is still on a 10-day contract]. But hopefully he can be here the rest of the year. He’s made some big shots in his career [a buzzer-beating 3-pointer last season comes to mind when he was with the Utah Jazz]. His confidence is real high at all times. He’s not afraid to make something happen.
ESPNNY: What happened late in the fourth quarter with Amir Johnson and Brook Lopez? They almost started fighting on the court.
Kris Humphries: Honestly, I didn’t even see. I was getting a rebound. My back was turned. When I turned around, they were tangled up and they were wrestling. I came over to help break it up. I think they’re fine. It ended right.
ESPNNY: So you don't expect them to have any problems at the joint team hotel, then?
Kris Humphries: Nah.
ESPNNY: Deron Williams really gutted it out again and came through with 16 points and 11 assists. How big was it for Deron to get his first win as a Net after starting out 0-3?
Kris Humphries: Yeah. It was huge. It was big. He's been playing great for us. And even above him getting a win, we needed a win [they'd lost six in a row before that]. And it was the perfect time to do it. It's always good to beat the Raptors.
ESPNNY: On Thursday, you talked about how you were really close with Andrea Bargnani and Jose Calderon when you played in Tornto. Did you talk any trash to those guys when you were out on the court?
Kris Humphries: No. We're friends. I try not to talk a whole lot to guys I'm friends with on the court. I'm trying to just stay focused and try to go at them. Andrea hit some shots. It was a usual 20-point performance from him [he finished with 23 overall].
ESPNNY: We know how crazy London soccer fans are. And we mean that entirely in a good way. But how were they as basketball fans?
Kris Humphries: Well, I thought we were the home team, but we didn't seem to get the love that a home team usually gets when we came out. But I think the fact that we won will help going forward. I also think they have more European players on their team than we do on ours, so that helps. Hopefully our win will influence some people to root for us on Saturday.
ESPNNY: From our perspective on television, it sounded like the fans were chanting the entire game -- even after made free throws. Did you notice any of it?
Kris Humphries: I think they do some more chants and stuff. It’s weird, I tend to not notice the fans a whole lot when I'm playing on the court. I feel like I’m in the zone at that point.
ESPNNY: We're sure you realized that you guys were 0-9 in the Atlantic Division going in. So that had to feel good, no?
Kris Humphries: I knew that going in, so I think you gotta get a win at some point, so why not sooner than later? The Raptors are one of those teams where their record doesn’t reflect how good they are. They’re real up and down.
ESPNNY: Jumping off your game for a bit, what did you do on Thursday after you got home from practice?
Kris Humphries: Me, Sasha Vujacic and Jordan Farmar went downtown. We visited some shops and all the stuff that was around there. We just walked around. We ended up having coffee like three times. We even tried some of the local food. it was a good time. We just hung out.
ESPNNY: What did you guys ended up talking about? Something other than the NBA maybe?
Kris Humphries: Nah. We always argue over who is the better player. Sasha and Farmar were sitting there saying that Andrew Bynum is better than Dwight Howard. We had a little argument over that one. I just didn't agree. They're great players, but their mind is a little warped on that one. I think it's because they played with him. But I argued that Bynum had so much talent around him in Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and those guys. Either way, I gotta go Dwight.
ESPNNY: We completely agree. Given that your NBA knowledge seems pretty strong, have you ever thought about a career in broadcasting or being a television analyst once your playing career ends? We know you're only 26 years old, but it's never too early to think about that stuff, right?
Kris Humphries: I haven't thought that far ahead yet. But it's definitely a possibility.
ESPNNY: One last question before we let you go, do you plan on going out Friday night, or are you going to get some rest?
Kris Humphries: I think get some rest. Just relax. And get our bodies right for Saturday. We should be able to go out after Saturday's game, though.
ESPNNY: Congratulations again on the win and good luck on Saturday.
Kris Humphries: Thanks. I gotta run. Our bus is about to leave.