Despite an eleven year stint in the league, former NBA player Kris Humphries has been defined by his short-lived marriage to Kim Kardashian. Now, nearly a decade after their split, Humphries is finally ready to speak candidly about their relationship.
In an autobiographical editorial he penned for The Players' Tribune, Humphries acknowledges the hurt he felt when it was rumored that their two-hour wedding special was a faux marriage manufactured to boost their social images.
"I should have known what I was getting into. I was definitely naive about how much my life was going to change. But the one thing that really bothers me is whenever people say that my marriage was fake," Humphries wrote. "There’s definitely a lot about that world that is not entirely real. But our actual relationship was 100 percent real."
Kris' 72 days marriage to Kim Kardashian and the mystery surrounding its demise turned the reliable role player into a pseudo-social villain. This put Humphries in what he describes as a "dark place" where he experienced "a lot of anxiety."
"It’s never easy to go through the embarrassment of something like that — with your friends, with your family…. But when it plays out so publicly, in front of the world, it’s a whole other level. It was brutal," Humphries said. "I didn’t know how to handle it... I remember having this moment when I was getting booed so hard in Philly, and I thought to myself, 'Why exactly are they booing me, though? Is it just because I’m That Guy from TV? Do they think I was trying to be famous? Is it because they think I disrespected the game of basketball?'"
However, the piece doesn't solely focus on his Kardashian connections. Humphries also speaks about his youth in Minnesota as well as being an accomplished youth swimmer before switching to basketball.
"I used to smoke Michael Phelps. For real. Before I was That Guy, I was a basketball player. And before I was a basketball player, I was the No. 1 youth swimmer in America (and I think maybe, at one point, in the world)," the article begins. "Back in the day, I used to crush Phelps. Lochte, too. Name an Olympic swimmer, and when we were 10 years old, I probably smoked them. That’s how good I was. I was so good in the water that it was actually kind of boring. And I was a cocky little punk."