Real Basketball Wives Who Could Participate in the VH1 Reality Show

One of the major criticisms of Basketball Wives is that the show casts everyone except married couples. With the exception of Jackie Christi, there are no current wives on the show. Executive producer, Shaunie O’Neal, has been honest in the past about the difficulty in getting real NBA wives on the show, at least those who are currently married to the basketball player husbands.

Kobe Bryant Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Laine Bryant and Kobe Bryant 2019 | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

The show has not had the best reputation for showcasing healthy relationships and many athletes who have had their exes on the show have been vocal about their disdain for the series. Many wives are against the show’s negative portrayal of the inner social circle and do not want to risk putting their careers in jeopardy for appearing on the show. Either way, it would be nice to see real marriages portrayed and the series go in a more positive direction. The show has been renewed for a ninth season and it’s also confirmed that there’s a Dallas franchise currently in production, so Basketball Wives doesn’t appear to be disappearing from our channel guides anytime soon.

Here’s a look at a few NBA wives who would make a great addition to the show.

Tamia Hill

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Tamia has been married to retired NBA star, Grant Hill, for 20 years. The Canadian born singer had a successful career before becoming a basketball wife. Discovered by legendary music mogul, Quincy Jones, she shot to fame in the mid-90s with hits like “You Put A Move On My Heart,” “Stranger In My House,” and, “So Into You.” She’s been an advocate for raising funds for research and treatment for those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, as she’s been living with the nerve damaging disease since she was 28-years-old. She and Hill share two daughters, Myla and Lael. The R&B songstress has spoken out about being approached to join Basketball Wives and why the reality show is not for her. Speaking with The Breakfast Club  in 2012, she told the hosts:

“Well, I think the perception is definitely not a reality. I think, to be fair, a lot of those women [on the show] aren’t wives. And I’m good friends with Shaunie. And as far as business is concerned, I applaud her, but I think that it’s definitely very misleading in terms of what our lives are about. I do have a lot of friends who are married to athletes, and a lot of these women are involved in charities, doing all kinds of things behind the scenes and are supportive wives, and — believe it or not — have supportive husbands who are really great guys.”

The Breakfast Club

Vanessa Bryant

Vanessa met NBA champion, Kobe Bryant, when she was just 17-years-old. They met on the set of a music video and the Lakers star was immediately enamored with her. He married her just two years later when Vanessa was 19, allegedly against his family’s wishes. She and Kobe hit a rough patch after his cheating scandal in 2003 in which the player was accused of rape. Charges were dropped and the baller settled but Vanessa publicly stood by her man. At the time, they had a young daughter and were able to work through the infidelity. They hit another rough patch in 2011 after Vanessa was said to have discovered her husband’s infidelity once again. She filed for divorce and there was even a settlement reached but they reconciled in 2013. They are parents to four daughters. Vanessa has stayed out of the public eye, appearing side by side with her husband but not participating in media interviews. She does share a lot on her Instagram page. She’s remained mum, focusing primarily on being a doting wife and mother. In Kobe’s Showtime documentary, he spoke highly of his wife, referring to her as his “backbone.”

Skylar Diggins-Smith

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Skylar would be an interesting addition as she herself is a basketball star. She was drafted 3rd overall by the Tulsa Shock in the 2013 WNBA Draft and relocated to play in Dallas in 2016. Skylar is one of the top players in the league. Some of her career highlights include being a four-time WNBA all-star and being voted Most Improved Player in 2014. Her high school and collegiate career was just as successful. In high school, she was the National Gatorade Player of the Year, the Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, and a McDonald’s All-American. During her college career, she led Notre Dame to three consecutive Final Fours and two consecutive NCAA championship appearances. Skylar became the first female athlete to sign with Roc Nation Sports. In 2017, she married her longtime boyfriend Daniel Smith who is a former Clay High School and Notre Dame wide receiver. She currently is not playing for the 2019 season and has attributed taking time off to the birth of her first child, postpartum depression and lack of support from the WNBA. Hopefully, things work out in her favor professionally in the near future.

Savannah James

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Savannah has been with her NBA player husband, LeBron James, since the two were in high school. The two became teenage parents and made it through LeBron being drafted straight out of high school. After over a decade together, LeBron proposed to Savannah on New Years’ Eve 2011. The two were married in 2013, with a special performance of “Crazy in Love” from Beyonce and Jay-Z, according to Deadspin. Basketball Wives star, Jackie Christi, has been vocal about wanting Savannah on the show. Savannah has not responded. She and LeBron are parents to three children. For the most part, Savannah has allowed her husband to be the public figure of their relationship. Harpers Bazaar did include Savannah in a profile piece in 2010 for her first major interview. At the time, both Savannah and LeBron spoke lovingly about one another. “We’re soul mates,” Savannah declared. LeBron added, “A person like myself always needs a great sidekick and a person you can rely on no matter the circumstances. And she’s that. She’s got my back, and I love her for that.” They continue to share their love publicly, doting on one another on their Instagram pages. Savannah has made her own way outside of her superstar husband, becoming a successful businesswoman. She started a furniture line with American Signature called Home Court and also owned a juice store, The Juice Shop, in Florida before closing it due to relocating back to Ohio.

Nina Westbrook

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Like her NBA player husband, Russell Westbrook, Nina was a star basketball player during high school and college. She was a four-year varsity basketball letter winner at Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, California. She finished her high school athletic career with 2,291 points, 906 rebounds, 298 assists, and 544 steals. Outside of basketball, Nina participated in track and field. While attending UCLA, she recorded four double-figure games. Nina and Russell met in 2007 while they both attended UCLA. They married in 2015 and have three children. She opened a children’s boutique and bookstore in 2018 in Oklahoma City where her husband was playing. The store, The Little Ark, was inspired by their son, Noah. The store sells clothing and books, as well as provides readings and mommy and me classes for children.  

Let’s hope the show is able to cast a few current wives in upcoming seasons.