9 Athletes Who’ve Ridden Their Wives’/Girlfriends’ Coattails

In the wake of his Kardashian engagement/wedding/divorce, Kris Humphries has gone from NBA journeyman to household name, which just goes to show you that if you are blessed with only above-average and not superstar talents, you might want to consider dating or marrying a celebrity. They can boost your profile quicker and more predictably than any amount of gym time or hustle can, and they’re generally a lot hotter than a personal trainer or shooting coach.

So let’s all go out and get celebrity wives and get famous!

9. Kris Humphries

Let’s get this guy out of the way. Before he was known (briefly) as Mr. Kris Kardashian, he was known as a 26 year-old who had logged time with the Jazz, Ratpors, Nets, and Mavericks. Unfortunately, his stint with Kim K. didn’t prove to be more fruitful than any of his NBA stops. Can someone please find this guy a team or woman that’s willing to really commit to this guy? He seems nice enough. Too nice for Kim, anyway.

8. Rick Fox

Now, for celeb-betrothed Laker, I had to debate between Lamar Odom and Fox. I went with Fox ultimately because he was always better known for being a generic “Laker,” a handsome guy, and singer Vanessa Williams’ husband from 1999 until rumors of his infidelity surfaced in 2004. Fox has made a nice post-basketball career for himself as an Actor having appeared in everything from One Tree Hill to Jake and Amir skits to Oz.

He was a member of three championship Laker teams, so to say he’s without talent is very dismissive, but he certainly got a big boost from his celeb wife.

7. Hank Basket

Who? Oh, that’s right. Kendra Wilkinson’s (The Girls Next Door) husband. This NFL journeyman receiver has logged time with Minnesota, Indianapolis, and Philly. While he showed a promising start in his rookie year, he never really got a chance to prove himself and is currently a free agent with no contract. However, he’s managed to pop up on the cultural radar after marrying Hugh Hefner’s ex, Kendra Wilkinson. He is a co-star of his wife’s reality show Kendra, which I’m presuming helps pay the bills without an NFL contract. Here’s to hoping he can quit reality TV and get back to football soon.

6. Anna Kournikova

Sure, she was famous well before commencing her 10-year relationship with pop singer Enrique Iglesias, but it’s safe to say that the boost his visibility gave her as a celebrity far outweighs whatever notoriety her talent afforded her. She was known as a mediocre tennis player that happened to be hot. Now she’s known as a mediocre hot tennis player with a very famous boyfriend.

Now, she’s making a name for herself as a Miami socialite, which is far less impressive than “pro tennis player.”

Also, I’m aware that having a female entry here doesn’t exactly jive with the title of the piece, but I hope no one will get too confused.

5. Mike Comrie

Comrie’s relationship with Hilary Duff has been much more noted than his stints with (deep breath): Edmonton, Philly, Phoenix, Ottawa, the Islanders, and Pittsburgh. While he was a hometown hero when drafted by Edmonton, he quickly lost favor after a mediocre training camp and public contract holdout.

Fortunately, his career with Duff has been markedly more successful, after getting married to the actress/singer in August 2010, and announcing the same day that they were expecting a baby.

4. Sean Avery

To be fair, Avery is known far more for being a complete a**hole than he is for either dating Elisha Cuthbert or playing hockey. Sure, he’s a tenacious pest to contend with on the ice, but the fact remains that when he called out Flames defenseman for dating his ex, it was clear that Avery was more concerned with reminding the public that he dated someone famous than he was for exercising discretion or class.

3. Eric Johnson

Who? Eric Johnson has been out of the NFL for a few years now, having played for the 49ers and Saints as a tight end, but he’s gotten way more attention from his engagement to singer/actress/fashion designer Jessica Simpson than he did from leading a shoddy 2002 Niners squad in receiving. He and Jessica just announced on October 31, 2011 that they are expecting their first child. Let’s hope he, Jess, and the kid for a better team than the mid-2000’s 49ers.

2. Mike Fisher

While Mike Fisher has experienced a fair amount of success on the ice (enough to merit a $4 million/year contract from the Senators before being traded to Nashville), he’s wrestled with some knee injuries in the recent past, which have kept him from realizing his potential on the ice. Off the ice, he’s overachieved by marrying country-pop star Carrie Underwood. However, an Ottawa radio station stopped playing her music after he was traded to Nashville. The station later apologized for the action, and Mike Fisher got to bask in a little more fame a little longer.

1. Jason Sehorn

As a Giants cornerback, the most notable play Sehorn ever took part in was proposing to his wife, actress Angie Harmon on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He was a standout d-back at USC, and was drafted in the second round in 1994. For years he gained notoriety as the only white cornerback in the NFL, however, in 1997, he blew out both his ACL and MCL, hampering his speed in future seasons.

Again, he’s known more for his hot wife and being handsome than he was for his NFL prowess, but that’s still the hallmark of a pretty sweet life.

Tags: Anna Kournikova, Eric Johnson, Hank Basket, Jason Sehorn, kris humphries, Mike Comrie, Mike Fisher, NFL, Rick Fox, Sean Avery,