“It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it wasn’t me.”
“Freeing himself from distractions” included ending his relationship with Khloe Kardashian after the two had dated for roughly eight months.
Harden never mentioned Khloe by name in his talk with Jenkins but referenced the tabloids and exhausting media coverage that comes with the territory when dating one of the Kardashian sisters.
Per Sports Illustrated:
“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.”
“I’m not worried about anything but hooping,” says Harden, 27, “and that may be why I’m having this kind of success.”
Jenkins even noted that Harden considers 2016 to be “the worst year of his life.”
This season, Harden is averaging a shade under 29 points per game, as well as career-highs in assists and rebounds with 11.3 and 8.1, respectively. Furthermore, the Rockets are in a much better position than last year, currently sitting at 42-19 (3rd in the West) which is already one more win than they had all of last season.
You can check out the full story on Harden, which will appear in the March 6th issue of SI, right here.