James Harden and the Houston Rockets have emerged as title contenders despite have a disastrous 2015-2016 season. Harden attributes his success to getting rid of the distractions that came with dating with someone as famous as Khloe Kardashian.
“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.”
This season, Harden is neck and neck in the MVP race with his former teammate, OKC Thunder guard Russell Westbrook.
In my opinion, Harden should probably win the MVP just for surviving the Kardashian curse.