Oh no, Ben. What have you done? How could you? It can’t be true.
We’re talking about Newcastle-raised basketball superstar Ben Simmons. Word is out that he’s dating a Kardashian.
Tabloids reported on Wednesday the breaking news that our Ben and Kendall Jenner are an item.
Big Ben [he’s 206cm (6’10) tall] plays in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers. Topics noted last month that he’d been compared to superstars like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and LeBron James.
Kendall, a model and television personality, is one of the younger siblings in the Jenner-Kardashian family. She grew up on screen on the E! reality television show Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
The pair has apparently been dating for “a few weeks”.
They were spotted this week on a lunch date at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The worst thing is that Ben is at risk of the “Kardashian curse” – a so-called hex on any man willing to get romantic with the sisters.
“The Kardashian curse is every male figure that comes and dates a Kardashian. Their life kind of just goes downhill after that,” Kylie Jenner said in a 2016 episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.
In a bit of a worry for Ben, a long list of professional athletes have reportedly been hit by the curse.
Apparently it began when Kim Kardashian dated NFL player Reggie Bush. His career nosedived after the pair became an item in the 2000s.
“I play football, and most football players are camera shy. We just want to be left alone, we just want to stick to what we do,” Bush said.
Houston Rockets basketball star James Harden was also said to have lost form when he began dating Khloé Kardashian in June 2015.
“(Dating a Kardashian) wasn’t me,” Harden said the following year.
“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.”
Simmons’ apparent new romance follows rumours that he ended his relationship with singer Tinashe last week.
Ironically, reports emerged recently that the basketballer dumped Tinashe because she was “doing Kardashian s***”.
Suspicious types suggested Tinashe had been tipping off the paparazzi to get photos of her with Simmons. The conspiratorial view among the tabloids and social-media gossipers was that she was using him to boost her music career.
Before he found fame, Simmons lived in Newcastle. He’s the son of former Newcastle Falcons forward and Hunter Pirates coach Dave Simmons. The youngest of six kids, he was born in Melbourne. His family moved to Newcastle when he was 18 months old.
He learnt to play basketball at Broadmeadow and became a Newcastle Hunters junior, while his father coached the Pirates.
Simmons seems set to become a brand in his own right. He’s been appearing in the media a lot lately, which coincided with his team’s run in the NBA playoffs. The 76ers were knocked out by the Boston Celtics.
The 21-year-old earns about AU$8 million a season. At age 19, he signed a five-year deal with Nike worth about US$20 million.
Cynics might suggest his coupling with Kendall Jenner is part of the grand plan to shoot his brand into the stratosphere.
But Topics won’t hear any of that sort of talk. We reckon it’s love.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.