You might recall that James Harden once had a short-lived but very high-profile romance with Khloe Kardashian. They ultimately called it quits about a year ago, and neither has offered much information as to why. Khloe has since started dating Cavs forward Tristan Thompson.
In a somewhat roundabout manner, Harden has finally broken silence about the split in Lee Jenkins’ fantastic profile of the Rockets guard over at SI.com:
“I’m not worried about anything but hooping,” says Harden, 27, “and that may be why I’m having this kind of success.” The process of untangling a crowded life began a year ago, when he and Khloé broke up after an eight-month romance, which began with a meeting at Kanye West’s basketball-themed birthday party at Staples Center in June. Harden does not reference Khloé but reflects on the tabloid apparatus that accompanies her. “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.”
Notice that Jenkins is careful to clarify that Harden doesn’t mention Khloe specifically with these comments, but the suggestions are clear: he didn’t like all the attention, and he’s having much more success now that it’s over.
There’s a certain faction of fans that like to blame the Kardashians for ruining athletes’ careers, which is utter nonsense, but comments like these leave plenty of room for interpretation that is likely going to feed into that narrative.