In 10 seasons, Kris Humphries only has been to the playoffs three times. He has never been past the first round either, but who would've thought coming to the Wizards could get him closer to his goal?
"There are sacrifices all the way around when you try to work for something greater," Humphries said via conference call from Los Angeles on Wednesday. "From guys who are there to guys coming in, when you're on a team like this -- I feel blessed to be in this situation -- everything you do is important and you feel important. ... Whatever you do on a winning team is magnified. You feel better about doing stuff when you're working toward something. It's a little tougher when you're playing the right way, making sacrifices and your team doesn't have a chance to make the playoffs."
A 6-9 forward, Humphries has been a role player for his entire career, averaging 6.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. While he has averaged a double-double twice, it came on Nets teams that won 24 and 22 games. The Wizards acquired him in a trade with the Boston Celtics in July on a three-year deal.
With the Wizards, he'll be on a team that won 44 games last season and advanced to the second round of the playoffs. They also have made other offseason acquisitions in DeJuan Blair and Paul Pierce, a small forward who can slide successfully over to the power spot in a small-ball lineup. Drew Gooden and Kevin Seraphin re-signed, too.
Depth in the low post no longer is a problem for the Wizards, but it also means Humphries will have to earn playing time. Last season with the 28-win Celtics, Humphries averaged 8.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and started 30 games. He played some at center. His expanding range on his jump shot, however, should help Humphries carve out a consistent spot in the rotation.
"That's just work over time. I came in the league and didn't get a lot of an opportunity to play," said Humphries, who was drafted 14th overall by the Utah Jazz in 2004. "I struggled, struggled, worked on my game. It shows. Guys that improve, it just doesn't happen because you're alive longer. You've got to work at it."