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Any number of things could end an athlete's career before it really gets started. Injuries, substance abuse, or being drafted by the wrong team can change an athlete's future drastically.
Rashad McCants was once a promising young guard on North Carolina's 2005 National Championship team, but he flamed out of the NBA in less than four seasons and bounced around overseas teams. His explanation for his predicament, according to the Charlotte Observer, was to blame one of the Kardashian sisters:
McCants’ biggest regret was his highly-publicized relationship with reality TV star Khloe Kardashian late in his career, which he said gave people an opportunity to doubt his commitment to the NBA.
“Without that situation in play, I’m a $60-70 million player,” McCants said. “Easily.”
Instead, McCants will try for a fresh start this June in the BIG3 - a new three-on-three league featuring former NBA players.
This isn't the first time someone has tried to pin their career failings on the Kardashians. Any time Kanye West has a personal misstep, a segment of his fans are quick to blame Kim Kardashian for her role in it, even if it's nowhere near appropriate. Current NBA players who have dated Khloe, from James Harden to Tristan Thompson, have also had fans blame bad games or stretches on their connection to the reality TV star.
Regardless of who's involved, it's a silly premise. First, it removes all responsibility for failure from the people who are actually failing. If Khloe Kardashian wasn't dating athletes and instead dated a long line of accountants, nobody would be concerned or presume her presence was going to cause a slip-up in a routine audit. Because NBA players are public figures, fans try to make up all sorts of convenient reasons for why their guys aren't up to par, when the answer is often that they just aren't good enough, or they're having a tough stretch like any other athlete ever.
If the Kardashians were somehow undermining the careers of everyone they come into contact with and dated, it would be puzzling that they've been able to build a business empire of their own while doing so. Usually people who are viewed as a "bad influence" have nothing going on in their own lives, but Khloe and the Kardashian family have plenty of their own business to take care of. Having a significant other with their own set of responsibilities is usually seen as a good thing.
In McCants' case, there's more than enough evidence pointing to his self-destructive tendencies as the cause of his downfall. Even before he left UNC for the NBA, he was a bit of a problem child, most evident when he compared playing college basketball to being in jail. McCants believes he was blackballed by the NBA, and while that may be the case, blaming it on his relationship with Khloe Kardashian shows why NBA teams cared about his character more than they did his talent.
Yes, the spotlight gets a lot brighter when you're within the Kardashian orbit and dealing with your own pressures. That doesn't make them responsible for your inability to get the job done.