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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Kris Humphries Rejected by Kansas for Being ‘Absolute Jerk,’ Ex-Jayhawk Says

One of pop culture’s biggest mysteries is how a fairly nondescript basketball player like Kris Humphries ended up with a Hollywood bombshell like Kim Kardashian. Based on this story, we may finally have our answer.

In an upcoming book about Kansas basketball called Beyond the Phog, former Jayhawks guard Keith Langford explains why Kris Humphries, who was a top high school recruit, was turned down by Kansas.

Kris Humphries came on a visit and tried to commit. He really wanted to come here. But no one on the team liked Kris Humphries. He was arrogant. He told everyone he was going to come in and be the leading scorer as a freshman and that we’d all have to take a backseat to him. We were trying to be respectful and not say anything. But he was an absolute jerk. It was tough, because Roy was really excited about him. Kris Humphries was a big deal. He was a one-and-done or a two-and-done kind of player. Roy wanted him to commit on his visit. But we told him, “Coach, you can’t bring this guy in. You can’t do it.” You’d figure Roy would say something like, “Let’s work on him,” or “Let’s give him another chance.” Instead he told Humphries, “Sorry, but you can’t come.” Bill Self did the same thing years later with Terrence Williams.

Langford stresses how fair coach Roy Williams was and how much he took his players’ input into making decisions about recruits. Langford portrays Williams positively, but we get a much different perspective about Humphries.

Kris ended up being right — he was a one-and-done player for Minnesota where he averaged 21.7 ppg and 10.1 rpg — but his team went 12-18 while Kansas went 24-9. Based on Roy Williams’ track record at KU and North Carolina, I trust his ability to build a roster of team guys rather than individuals. And after reading that about Humphries, it makes sense why he was eager to get a reality show, and why he’s fine dealing with unicorns and glitter. It’s all coming together.

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