James Harden is the only rich and famous Black man that has survived the Kardashian curse so far. Here is how he did it.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Harden called 2015, the year he dated Khloe Kardashian for eight months, the “worst year of his life.” While he was still one of the league’s best players at the time, just signed a huge contract with adidas and finished second in that season’s NBA MVP voting, he says he felt “lost” later in the year.
He admits that the extra tabloid attention that came with being a part-time Kardashian had an effect on his focus. He also feels that some of the extraness of dating the reality show star/social media personality had a negative impact on his teammates. On top of that he was dealing with a new teammate, Dwight Howard, who is known to be a diva at times too.
“I didn’t like all the attention,” he says. “I feel like it was for no reason. I wasn’t getting anything out of it except my name out there and my face out there, and I don’t need that. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it wasn’t me. I don’t need pictures of myself when I’m driving my car. Who cares? What shoes am I wearing? Who cares? Where am I eating? Who cares? It was unnecessary stuff that I think trickled down to my teammates. I had to eliminate that.”
Leaving Kardashian was also advised by his friends who said that he needed to “simplify” his life. People within the Houston Rockets organization also say Harden probably just wanted to feel what it was like to be very famous but realized that he didn’t like it.
Kardashian moved on quickly and started dating Cleveland Cavaliers player Tristan Thompson. Harden is now back in the MVP conversation and his team has the third-best record in the NBA.