Thompson had an excellent start to Game 4, but he’s generally had a lousy series, averaging 2.7 points and 3.7 rebounds entering Friday. That’s led to people in some circles of the internet blaming Kardashian for Thompson’s struggles, or making the patently wrong case that Thompson’s somehow being distracted by her.
It’s a weird, sexist line of analysis, which has been directed at plenty of celebrity sports couples over the years. Aaron Rodgers and Olivia Munn are a recent example, and so was Kardashian when she previously dated Lamar Odom. Blaming the women in athletes’ lives for their in-game shortcomings is not sensible or right in any respect.
Enter ABC color commentary man Jeff Van Gundy, who aired an opinion about the “Kardashian curse” during Game 4 that I think is pretty important:
“I’ve noticed a lot in this series the debate about why Tristan Thompson has not played well. And he hasn’t played well. But the debate about whether his significant other, Khloe Kardashian, and the Kardashian curse, is the reason, to me, is downright low-rent.”
My thing is this: When LeBron James struggled in 2011 in those Finals, did we say it was his significant other that caused him to not succeed, or last year with Steph Curry, was it Steph Curry’s wife, when he didn’t play up to standard? No, this Kardashian shaming is because she’s an easy target. And I don’t know her or her family, but I do know this: She deserves an apology for anybody who participated in that type of debate.”
Mark Jackson, Van Gundy’s fellow analyst, agreed and called it “total disrespect.” They’re both right.