Couch Slouch

Play for the Nets, and you could date a Kardashian

By Norman Chad NORMAN CHAD
Monday, December 27, 2010

When we last checked in on the formerly East Rutherford/currently Newark/soon-to-be-Brooklyn New Jersey Nets a year or so ago, they were stumbling out to an 0-18 start en route to a near record-breaking 12-70 NBA season. They had all the curb appeal of a tollbooth on the Garden State Parkway crossbred with a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike.

One year later, the Nets still stink, but - ooh la la! - there is a smell of Old Spice in the air and - forget curb appeal - this hunk of hoopland is oozing with sex appeal.

These days, Prudential Center in Newark looks more like Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.

Nets forward Kris Humphries is dating sexy reality-TV superstar Kim Kardashian.

Nets guard Sasha Vujacic is engaged to sexy tennis almost-superstar Maria Sharapova.

Nets part-owner Jay-Z - sexy himself, I'm told - is married to uber-sexy singing superstar Beyonce.

And, frankly, the sexiest appeal to these Nets is their new majority owner, Russian billionaire bon vivant Mikhail Prokhorov. But we'll get back to him later.

So how did Kris Humphries - a career 5.0 points-a-game scorer, the poster boy for NBA anonymity - land Kim Kardashian? Some people think there's a Kardashian on every corner in L.A. Oh, no. There's just a handful of them, and you need major coin and beaucoup swag to walk into a high-end Beverly Hills joint with a K-Girl hanging on your well-toned arm.

The Sisters Kardashian - Kim, Khloe and Kourtney - are fame perfectionists. Khloe is married to the Lakers' Lamar Odom. Kim once dated Reggie Bush, the '05 Heisman Trophy winner who returned it earlier this year (luckily, he had kept the receipt). Kourtney and her sisters appeared on the Season 3 premiere of "90210" - they played themselves (who else were they going to play, the Jonas Brothers?).

I mean, you can't even keep up with the Kardashians unless you're watching "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and reading their recent autobiography, "Kardashian Konfidential."

Honestly, I don't now how Humphries does it - half his day he's trying to make sure the humdrum Nets get better, the other half he's trying to make sure Kim's nail salon appointment doesn't conflict with her tanning salon appointment.

(Column Intermission: The Wall Street Journal - continuing its painting-by-numbers approach to sports - breathlessly reported last week that, in 163 college bowl games over the past five years, the team that traveled farther is 83-80. No word from the Journal on the difference between teams that checked baggage and those that placed their larger carry-on items in the overhead bin.)

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