James Harden has been trying to get his life back on track after bearing the burden of dating a super popular reality star and working through the worst year of his life, Sports Illustrated reports. Through the years, amid the relentless craziness that is the paparazzi, Harden began to question himself, wondering how he managed to veer so far away from his true self, at which point things just went from bad to worse.
In the wake of his budding relationship with Khloe Kardashian, Harden ran into issues on and off the court. From a sprained ankle and tensions on the court, to a rocky start to the Houston Rockets’ ’15-16 season, it all took a toll on the baller. However, Harden just took the L and kept it moving, all while putting up career-high numbers during that season.
Meanwhile, fans began to blame the team’s misfortune on the Kardashian, who had been nursing her husband, Lamar Odom, back to health while dating Harden.
By the end of the year, Harden began the journey back to his old self, after somewhat of an intervention orchestrated by his childhood friends.
Months later, after finally separating from Khloe, who moved on to the next baller in Cleveland, Harden’s life was back on track, as he realized he was just worried about the wrong things.
“I’m not worried about anything but hooping,” Harden said, “and that may be why I’m having this kind of success,” the 27-year-old added.
While the baller does not mention Kardashian, he says the attention that came with the reality star was enough to make him uncomfortable and ultimately he had to let that go.
“I didn’t like all the attention,” he said. “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 comfortable, 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.”
Now Harden is focused and ready to make history. In the meantime, he just wants to be able to keep everything under control so that the team does not suffer.
“It’s way too easy to lose touch. But it’s my job to control this locker room and make sure that what happened last year never happens again.”