Alright, Philadelphia 76ers Twitter/Sixers Nation/Sixers Fans, I’m about to say something that you may not want to hear. You have to hear it, though. This is “White Men Can’t Jump”. I’m Sidney Deane, and you’re all Billy Hoyle listening to Jimi Hendrix.
Don’t just listen to what I’m saying. Hear what I’m saying after you see this:
Yes. Ben Simmons is still hanging out with Kendall Jenner.
This has been confirmed by both US Weekly and to a lesser degree Page Six. My question to that is this at this point: “So what?”
Again, I know. That’s not what you want to hear. I know you want me to rail on this situation because of the “Kardashian Kurse” -- which may or may not be a real thing. There is some prejudicial evidence to its existence: James Harden the year during vs. the year after dating Khloe Kardashian, Reggie Bush & Kim Kardashian, Kris Humphries & Kim Kardashian, Tristan Thompson & Khloe Kardashian.
Let me dive further on those.
People talk about Harden’s first year A.K. (after Kardashian) and reference how his dating Khloe led to his troubled 2015-2016 season. Statistically, that year wasn’t bad for Harden, but folks forget to note that before the season started, then head coach Kevin McHale accused Harden of coming into camp overweight.
(If true, I kinda blame that for what Harden considered a down year vs. dating a Kardashian, but who am I to say?)
We all know the rest. Harden dumps Khloe. Harden has an MVP-caliber season. Fine. I’ll give you that one because Harden even said in an interview with Lee Jenkins at Sports Illustrated about the relationship:
“I didn’t like all the attention,” Harden said about dating Kardashian. “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.”
That case I’ll give you because that’s coming straight from Harden’s finely bearded mouth. The rest? I can kill those arguments faster than an NPC in a Call of Duty game.
Ok. Reggie Bush. Even before dating Kim Kardashian, was Reggie Bush REALLY good? He never ran for 1,000 yards for the New Orleans Saints when he was drafted, and was so/so in Miami years after he and Kim split up. In fact, the only real NFL memory I have of Bush is him getting split in half by Sheldon Brown in an Eagles playoff game.
Kris Humphries? He wasn’t good, anyway, so there’s no reason to say Kim either helped or torched his career. The greatest part about the Humphries/Kardashian wedding and subsequent divorce was the legendary #ThingsThatLastedLongerThanKrisandKimsMarriage hashtag. (I didn’t come up with that. That’s what it was, and you had to be damn creative when Twitter was only 140 characters.)
Tristan Thompson is an overpaid big man for what he does that’s never made an All-Star team, so you lose me on that one, too.
(I strategically ignored Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian’s relationship because that doesn’t count. Odom had demons of his own even before he started dating her.)
What am I getting at?
I could understand your concerns and worries if Simmons had regressed any. Simmons and Jenner reportedly were dating over the summer and in to training camp then split after alleged cheating. I don’t know because I wasn’t in the room. I’m reporting second hand information on that one, so take that how you feel necessary.
After 22 games, though, Simmons’s numbers are just about equal to his totals last year in points (15.5), rebounds (8.7), assists (7.9), and TS% (.568). Simmons’s FT% is even up to 60%. That’s fine. He hasn’t regressed, and there’s no indication that he’s overly distracted.
That’s actually a NOD to Kendall Jenner. Hear me out.
According to the “family spokesman” cited in the latest US Weekly column, Kendall “values her privacy more than any of her sisters, so you’ll rarely see them out together”. For whatever reason, Kendall seems to get it. That’s great. Keep our boy away from distractions, and we’re good.
Simmons hasn’t been plastered all over TMZ, and be honest with yourselves for a moment. Did you even know they were still hanging out until Kendall was at the Cavaliers game last Friday night?
Note the phrasing that I used there because it’s the same phrase US Weekly and the Kardashian/Jenner family spokesman said. They’re having fun and hooking up but reportedly not exclusive. I’m 38 years old, and the definition of that escapes someone like me because I feel like the meaning of “hooking up” has changed so many times that I just stopped trying to explain it. They’re not exclusive, so there’s no pressure. Boom. I’m good.
At this point, I’m just treating it as a 22-year-old NBA star dating a 23-year-old Victoria’s Secret model. The kid shot his shot, and good on him because as Sean Kennedy said in the Liberty Ballers Slack: “I’m just glad there’s one arena where Ben wasn’t afraid to shoot his shot (I kid, I kid).”
(That’s eff’ed up, by the way, Sean.)
Put yourself in Ben Simmons’s shoes. You’re 22-years-old, one of the faces of an up and coming core that will probably compete for a championship soon. You’ve got money, fame, skills. Would you not want to date a 23-year-old Victoria’s Secret model if you were him?
Now, I don’t know what the extent of their relationship/friendship is, and nor do any of us unless you’re directly involved in the situation. The Sixers are 15-8, Ben Simmons hasn’t skirted away from his work ethic and will likely make the All-Star team barring any ridiculousness. (Seriously, NBA? Goran Dragic last year!)
So really: as far as who he is or isn’t dating … who cares? It’s not affecting his play, so we should be all good. Let’s not create a distraction when there isn’t need to, for example, creating a GoFundMe to keep Kendall Jenner from the Wells Fargo Center.
That’s just too petty even for us.