The 32-year-old Keeping Up with the Kardashians star has come under fire recently by Cleveland Cavaliers fans, who point to her relationship with Thompson, 26, as the reason his team has lost three games against the Golden State Warriors in the finals so far.
But according to famed American basketball coach and ABC/ESPN analyst Jeffrey William “Jeff” Van Gundy, that criticism is “downright low-rent.”
Minutes into Friday’s action-packed Game 4 (which the Cavs would end up winning 137-116 ), Van Gundy stood by the Revenge Body host in an impassioned rant against the so-called “Kardashian curse” — the nickname that has been previously given to players like Kris Humphries, Lamar Odom and James Harden after their relationships with members of the Kardashian family.
“I’ve noticed a lot, in this series, the debate about why Tristan Thompson has not played well,” the former Knicks coach explained. “And he hasn’t played well. But the debate about whether his significant other, Khloé Kardashian, and the ‘Kardashian curse’ is the reason, to me, is downright low-rent.”
Van Gundy went on to compare the performance of past players, and how their failures were categorized. “My thing is this: When LeBron James struggled in 2011 in those Finals, did we say it was his significant other that caused him to not succeed? Or last year with Steph Curry, was it Steph Curry’s wife, when he didn’t play up to standard? No.”
“This Kardashian-shaming is because she’s an easy target,” he continued. “And I don’t know her or her family, but I do know this — she deserves an apology for anybody who participated in that type of debate.”
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Kardashian and Thompson have been dating since September, when they were spotted out celebrating Labor Day weekend together in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
At Friday’s game, she turned up at the Quicken Loans Arena to cheer Thompson on — along with mom Kris Jenner, sister Kourtney Kardashian, and nephew and niece Mason, 7, and Penelope Disick, 4 (who all donned Thompson’s gold #13 jerseys).
Originally from Canada, Thompson was drafted by the Cavaliers in 2011 and helped the team win its first NBA Championship last season. He also played for the Canadian national team this summer, although they didn’t qualify for the Olympics.