Kris Humphries might want to consider closing the deal with Kim Kardashian, after a suitable period of courtship.
Could it be the media-savvy Hollywood babe is good for his NBA game?
The media-phobic Minnesota boy has been playing the best basketball of his career this year for the New Jersey Nets. His stats so far are the best of his NBA career: 8.7 points per game (compared with his 5.2 point career average), 54 percent field goal percentage (45 percent career), 70 percent free throw percentage (62 percent career), and double his career averages of assists and blocks per game. His playing time is also up substantially to more than 25 minutes per game, nearly double his career average, according to basketball-reference.com figures.
The right hot romance can energize you and your career. The wrong romance, well, don't remind those crazy Cowboys fans of the dark days of Tony Romo dating desperate Jessica Simpson.
I consulted Humphries' stats after hearing KFAN's Paul Allen riff on-air about how Kris' game has gotten hot since he's been hanging out with Kardashian. "He's playing better," PA, the voice of the Vikings and an elite NFL and NBA mind, told me off-air Thursday. "I watch the Nets every so often and I've just noticed. When it comes to the pop culture scene I'm a little late to the party on a lot of different things, but I knew when New Jersey came here she was supposed to be in the crowd. With what they have going on now, you know I watch Nets games a little differently.
"I've just noticed that Kris is really all over the place, all of a sudden. Kris is the kind of guy who can play in the NBA for 15 years because he's naturally gifted. He can shoot, he's a good rebounder, really well-built. I see him diving on the floor. I see him with no-look passes. His numbers have jumped up a little bit and what I started thinking to myself is that now he's got this prized girl in the crowd, so it's time to take the good game and elevate it.''
PA, before I had consulted the stats, said, "I don't think there's any substance to this. He's never going to be Michael Jordan [but] I don't want to knock Kris in any way; he's a journeyman NBA player. Guess what? A journeyman NBA player over 10 years can make between $30 and $40 million. There's certainly no knocking that, but over the last couple weeks, Kris has gotten more minutes, and he's rebounding the hell out of the ball. He just seems like a different guy." PA then added a sly smile and asked, "I wonder why?"
Of course, a Thursday USA Today headline like "Kim Kardashian: 'We don't censor ourselves' for TV" won't support a future for this romance.
How about off the court?
For a peek into the bedroom stats, I direct your attention toward Friday's "The Wendy Williams Show."
Williams, an effusive yet effective interviewer, knows how to nuzzle up into stuff the rest of us want to know about but might not dare ask.
"Are you in love with this guy?" Williams asked when Kim and Kourtney Kardashian were on to promote their book and their new E! reality show, "Kourtney & Kim Take New York." After stalling by repeating the significant part of that question, Kim said Humphries is "a really, really good guy and I think for once I've taken the time with it. I've known him for months and definitely tried to keep it low-key."
Williams asked, "How's the sex? ...Good?"
No need for Debra and Will Humphries to plug their ears, as Kim replied: "I don't kiss and tell."
And breathe a sigh of relief that Wendy didn't go all Mae West on Kim.
Williams asked if the Kardashians' mom, Kris Jenner, has met Humphries because "Nothing is going to happen unless Kris [Jenner] approves." Kourtney averred, "I don't think that Kris [Jenner] will actually approve ever."
Humphries is an adorable kid; most moms would throw their daughters at him. But I don't think he can handle the paps chasing with their cameras.
And as for Kris Jenner understanding, janetcharltons hollywood.com wrote a couple weeks ago that the Kardashians "have the media to thank for their fortune," and KardashiMOM can probably see Kris and Kim having big conflicts over him being gun-shy of the media.
"I'd be nauseated if I was dating you, the paparazzi all the time!" said Williams.
Dating a homely, low-profile girl, of course, wouldn't have elevated Humphries to this point in the pop culture conscience.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or email@example.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen on Fox 9 Thursday mornings.
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