This is a good-natured preseason joke, we think. We hope. I mean, it’s not as if Rajon Rondo and Kris Humphries are fast friends some 11 months removed from their shoving match. The new Boston power forward wasn’t traded to Rajon’s Celtics until July, and he probably won’t play a game with the recovering Rondo until December. Still, on the flip side of that, there hasn’t been enough time to develop any additional enmity from last season’s fight with Rondo not taking part in full Boston practices as he works his way back from an ACL tear.
That hasn’t stopped the pair’s teammates from egging them on. We’re a few days behind on this, but apparently the Celtics have put up a board in the locker room that allows teammates to vote on who they think would win the inevitable second round tussle between the two. From Jay King at MassLive.com:
“(Keith) Bogans is always joking about it. I think in the locker room, there’s a thing that says Rondo and Hump,” Humphries told Celtics.com this week, motioning like the names are side-by-side, “and I think we’re tied with who would win in a fight on the vote.”
Maybe he miscounted, though. Asked about the voting board on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher and Rich, Rondo laughed and said, “I think I’m up.”
Humphries was known as, let’s be honest, a bit of a jerk dating back to his year at the University of Minnesota – long before your wife’s friend Anna was introduced to the guy that threw his reality TV wife off of a dock on basic cable. And while Rondo may not exude the same level of d-baggery irascibility, he’s clashed with plenty of teammates, coaches, and opponents over the years. The guy doesn’t really back down.
We thought about delving into the relative fightin’ merits for either side as they head into some hypothetical showdown, but the reality is that there is no fight here. Not with Rondo recovering, and Humphries attempting to humble himself and restore his credibility both as a personality and NBA player heading into 2013-14. No reason to talk reach, footspeed or size right now.
Until, of course, Rondo doesn’t give it up to Humphries when he wants to shoot one of those 16-footers from above the free throw line. Or when Kris gives Rondo’s guy one of his notorious whiffs within screen and roll defense.
Then it’ll be on. Though, as professionals, we can’t reveal our vote.
(It’s for Rajon.)