Back in November, a fan of the Philadelphia 76ers distributed a petition to ban Kendall Jenner from appearing at 76ers games. The reasoning behind the Change.org petition was that Jenner was dating 76ers guard Ben Simmons, and that dating members of the Kardashian family has been bad for NBA players in the past.
“We as Sixers fans cannot sit idly by and let Kendall Jenner ruin what could be a truly special Sixers season by her attendance at Sixers games. We must take action,” said the petition, which was posted after Philadelphia lost an early-season game to Cleveland at home.
The petition gained 10,686 signatures, out of a goal of 15,000, and it did not result in the removal of Jenner from the team’s games. And that appears to be a good thing for Sixers fans: The team now has an 11-2 record this year with Kendall Jenner in the building, sports radio station WIP tweeted on Thursday.
Most recently, Jenner was in attendance Wednesday night when the Sixers beat the San Antonio Spurs, with Simmons scoring 21 points, with 15 assists, and 10 rebounds. After the game, Simmons and Jenner were spotted together at a restaurant near the University of Pennsylvania.
The Sixers do have a 21-5 overall record at home this season, but the 11-2 record with Jenner there dispels any notions of a “Kardashian curse,” with respect to Jenner.
The initial fan displeasure with Jenner’s appearances at the arena seemed to step from outdated, misguided notions that relationships with famous women are “distractions” for athletes, as well as condescension toward the Kardashians as reality TV figures. There was also some fear among Philadelphia fans, and stoked by national media outlets like The Big Lead, that a relationship with a Hollywood figure could lead Simmons to one day leave the Sixers to play closer to Jenner, possibly with the Los Angeles Lakers.
However, the “Kardashian curse” has always been overblown, as dating Khloe Kardashian never prevented James Harden from becoming one of the NBA’s best players, and Kris Humphries was never much of a player before, during, or after his brief marriage to Kim Kardashian.
Additionally, the rules of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement very strongly incentivize young star players like Simmons to sign contract extensions with their original teams, meaning that any possibility of Simmons moving to Los Angeles to live closer to Jenner is likely several years away. And besides, it doesn’t appear that Jenner minds taking frequent trips to Philadelphia to watch Simmons play.