Some players see their decline based on several factors like age or a new team/system that didn’t fit their style of play. For others, unfortunately, the sources of their demise were none other than their supposed soul mates.
In our countdown below, we take a look at the top 10 athletes who have been through the worst of times – professionally and personally – because of a rocky relationship with a fiendish woman. And if you’ve been on top of such events over the past decade or so, you probably already know that one wealthy and renowned family of socialites was the root of several superstars’ downfalls.
If your thirst for chaos hasn’t been quenched by this article just yet, then head on over to our special top 10 features on the best team and individual rivalries in sports right after this.
The Top 10 Athletes That Were Ruined by Their Significant Others
10. Steve Nash
Ok, so Steve Nash didn’t really see that big of a drop in his numbers after his now infamous incident with his ex-wife Alejandra, but their story is so messed up that it deserved at least the tenth spot on our countdown.
On November of 2010, the couple gave birth to their third child, Matteo Joel. However, there was something off little MJ… he was born black.
The last time we checked, Steve was Caucasian, and Alejandra was of Hispanic heritage. Considering the odds of these two conceiving an African-American son together are virtually impossible, Nash was obviously furious about the news and filed for a divorce the day after Alejandra gave birth.
9. Matt Kemp
In 2009, then-Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp started seeing Pop/R&B artist Rihanna. Kemp’s output had a spell of mediocrity while they were an item, and soon after split with the Barbadian babe.
Apparently, hitting that Ri-Ri booty badly affected how he put up ribbies on the diamond. Kemp was later voted second in the NL MVP race in 2011 (.324, 39 HRs, 126 RBIs, 40 stolen bases), which happened to be the season after he and Rihanna called it quits.
8. Kris Humphries
Before he started dating Kim Kardashian, New Jersey Nets forward Kris Humphries was a beast in the making as he boasted a double-double average in back-to-back seasons from 2010 to 2012. In the middle of all that, Kris went out with Kim, was officially wed to her for just 72 days, and received heat from Kanye West – his rival for Kim’s heart (or more like her huge ass) at the time – in the form of a literally cold diss track.
By the 2012 season, K-Hump (what an appropriate nickname we just gave him!) saw his scoring and rebounding averages basically cut down to half in each of the next four seasons. He now plays for Washington, where he’d probably already taken the time to personally file a petition at the White House to ban the Kardashians from all Wizards games for playing him like a fool.
7. Reggie Bush
Then there’s Kim Kardashian’s first love (or more like victim) in Reggie Bush, who entered the 2006 NFL draft as the hottest prospect on the board. The two-time All-American and former national champion out of USC soon caught Kardashian’s eye, and the two became an on-and-off couple between 2007 and 2010.
Yes, Bush became a Super Bowl champion as a member of the New Orleans Saints, but his overall contribution to the team was but a mere a footnote. In fact, his NFL career never really took off at all. In his 10 seasons as a pro, Bush only had two 1,000-yard rushing seasons and not one season where he had more than just six rushing touchdowns.
The Kardashian Kurse was alive and well even before the Kardashian-Humphries wedding debacle. And to make matters worse, Kim’s not the worst Kardashian of them all as you’ll soon find out later on in this here list.
6. Justin Verlander
It’s the 2011 baseball season, and Justin Verlander had just won the AL MVP and Cy Young Awards. He also went gaga over voluptuous model and “movie star” Kate Upton, and they officially declared themselves a couple later that same year.
Everything was coming up roses for Verlander even up until the 2012 season, but that was until the World Series happened. Detroit’s golden ace choked and surrendered five runs in just four innings of action in Game 1 against the Giants, as he and his Tigers would ultimately lose the championship series to San Francisco.
Verlander’s MVP form never came back after that. Several other Detroit pitchers have take over his duties at the top of the team’s starting rotation since, and he never finished with an ERA of over 3.38 in each of the three seasons that followed.
But hey, at least he still gets to come home to these every single night.
5. Tony Romo
There’s a popular belief that the unending vitriol towards Tony Romo all stemmed from his relationship with pop star Jessica Simpson, and we agree with that notion as well.
First off, he and the buxom bimbo (plus some other teammates that tagged along) probably cost the Cowboys a playoff win as a top-seeded team in 2007. Romo didn’t do himself any favors either when he broke up with simple-minded Simpson on the eve of her birthday in 2009. Lastly, he never won another playoff game and earned another Pro Bowl selection until the 2014 season.
By the way, Dallas has not been to the Super Bowl with Romo at the helm just yet. Thanks a lot for the jinx, Jessica.
4. Manti Te’o
Poor Manti Te’o, the victim of the first most-publicized case of catfishing and certainly the wildest entry on our countdown. What’s worse about this baffling story was that a member of his family played a part in this heinous act that turned the 2012 Heisman Trophy runner-up into another run-of-the-mill linebacker in the NFL.
It’s already bad enough that you don’t have a single individual award or recognition as a pro to date. It’s another to have been suckered into an online relationship by a supposedly-deceased girlfriend, who eventually turned out to be a still-breathing homosexual friend of yours.
Congratulations, Manti… you played yourself.
3. Alex Rodriguez
A-Rod gets a higher spot our our list not because he totally tanked after falling for a woman, but rather because his second escapade with another high-profile celebrity looks to have pushed him towards his inevitable decline sooner than expected.
Ever since he was caught being fed popcorn by Cameron Diaz’s hand at Super Bowl XLV, Rodriguez suffered multiple injuries since, and would also go on to bat an ugly .111 throughout the Yankees’ crucial 2012 ALCS showdown against the Detroit Tigers. Take note: Rodriguez was formerly linked with Madonna as well, who already had a history of dating athletes (Dennis Rodman, Jose Canseco) that were also monsters in some way or have been transformed into one.
Apparently, Alex’s bad bitches just can’t get enough of his “Rod”, and he can’t keep himself from being just as naughty.
2. James Harden
For a guy with a wicked beard, James Harden’s definitely no wise old sage when it comes to women.
As the third-overall pick in the NBA draft, Harden’s rookie season in 2009 was underwhelming to say the least. He was already going out with hard-nosed rapper Trina then, whom he later dumped via text (ouch!) in 2012. By 2015, Harden was now the main man for the Houston Rockets and had his best season ever, even taking his team as far as the Western Conference Finals that year.
The 2015-16 season was supposed to be the moment for Harden to win that elusive NBA championship. As luck would have it, though, his Fourth of July encounter with Khloe Kardashian would soon cast a heavy shadow over his game. As of this writing, the Rockets have a disappointing 27-28 record, and the four-time All-Star is committing a career-worst 4.5 turnovers per game and is shooting just 42.7 percent from the floor – his worst mark since his rookie season.
Harden deserves to get those bonus points on our list for double-dipping in the famous-chick pool. But in the end, he really just makes poor choices with his love life and it’s affecting his performance on the hard court.
Somebody please get James a decent girl (who’s into thick facial hair) for a change, and quick.
1. Lamar Odom
We didn’t exactly mention earlier as for why James Harden’s affair with Khloe Kardashian spelled doom for Harden. Well, here’s why: Khloe was still legally married to another basketball star, Lamar Odom, when she started seeing James.
But that’s not all: Odom was already starting to lose his mind as he saw his five-year marriage to Khloe slowly fall apart, which even reached the point where all that was left for their divorce to pull through was to have a judge sign their papers. Some months and awkward run-ins between the two passed before Lamar finally hit rock bottom as he OD’d from a lethal dose of narcotics in a Nevada whorehouse on October 15 of 2015.
And yet here comes Khloe back into the picture, reaching out to her dying but soon-to-be-divorced husband. Eventually, she broke up with Harden to reconcile with and take care of Lamar – a two-time NBA champion and former Sixth Man of the Year awardee who was nearly reduced to a vegetative state. It took over five years for Kardashian to realize that getting married to Odom in less than a month’s time since they first met wasn’t such a good idea after all, and now has to rekindle their love under the toughest of circumstances.
There you have it, folks: two modern basketball greats ruined by one woman. Khloe Kardashian: NBA temptress, social media punchline, and – hard to believe now – the worst of all Kardashians.
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