Y’all agree or disagree about JVG’s rant on the Kardashian Curse? pic.twitter.com/fI621NvOn3
— The Sports Quotient (@SportsQuotient) June 10, 2017
Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson are not a fan of the narrative that the dreaded Kurse of the Kardashians is attributable for Tristan Thompson’s disappearance in Games 1-3. Thompson, who was a massive factor in the Cavs’ defeat of the Warriors last year, had two games in which he went scoreless, and 11 total rebounds in the three games.
Said Van Gundy: “The debate about whether his significant other, Khloe Kardashian — and the Kardashian curse — is the reason, to me, is downright low rent.”
Van Gundy wondered whether LeBron James’s wife was blamed when her husband struggled in the 2011 NBA Finals versus Dallas, or if Ayesha Curry got blamed for Steph’s comparative struggles last year. (Actually she became a huge story in the series, and many commentators did blame her; here was Gabrielle Union’s rebuttal to that idea.)
Nevertheless, the Kurse debate took place on Van Gundy’s own network. Jalen Rose brought it up on ESPN’s Game 3 postgame on Wednesday night, and we talked about it at length yesterday (around the 10-minute mark):
Personally, I disagree with Van Gundy. Rashad McCants, Lamar Odom, and James Harden before Thompson had on-court struggles that coincided with their relationship with Khloe Kardashian. While she might not be to blame for the phenomenon, the fact of the matter, as Jalen said, is that association with her family causes the paparazzi and gossip media to bring a telescope to your every move. Athletes are covered a lot, but not subject to nearly this type of exposure.
Something was impacting Thompson’s energy on the floor, and there is a track record of athletes’ performances declining dramatically, and rebounding after the breakup. It’s something that bears mentioning. The Harvard Sports Analytics blog wrote last year:
Understandably, we were inspired to look into the possibility of a Kardashian-specific effect and found quantitative support for what we all know to be true. We found a 12.8% performance decline from pre-dating to dating and then a 16.5% increase after breaking up.
What are your thoughts?