Basketball Wives is gearing up for season 9 and has been a hit with viewers since it first aired in 2010. One of the criticisms of Basketball Wives is that the show is cast with fake friends, ex-wives, girlfriends and “baby mothers” of NBA players. With the exception of a few of the shows stars, the majority of the women featured have never been married or are not currently wives.
After almost 10 years on-air, it’s been hard to keep up with who on the show is, or has been, an actual basketball wife. Here’s a recap of past and current cast members who have had the last name of a famous ballplayer.
Shaunie married NBA champion, Shaquille O’Neal, in December 2002 at the Beverly Hills hotel. Throughout their relationship, they had four children, both had children. Shaquille and Shaunie separated after five years of in 2007, but reconciled shortly after. In 2009, Shaunie filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” It was later revealed that Shaquille’s multiple affairs during their marriage was the culprit. After years of a strained relationship, the two consider themselves the best of friends and enjoy co-parenting.
Jennifer Williams married NBA player, Eric Williams, in July 2007. The two married after Williams retired from the league and they embarked on traveling the world and explored starting a family. But with Eric’s infidelities and Jennifer’s lack of trust, their marriage suffered. Basketball Wives viewers watched Jennifer struggle with pulling the plug on her marriage and the two were even filmed in couple’s therapy. After a decade together and almost four years of marriage, Jennifer filed for divorce in 2011. Her final straw was Eric throwing a drink in her face for the world to see during an intense sit-down dinner.
Jackie Christie has been married the longest on the show. The overprotective wife of Doug Christie has been married to the retired athlete since 1996. The two share three children, one of whom is from Jackie’s previous relationship. To keep their union fresh, they renew their vows every year in lavish ceremonies, some of which have been featured on the show. As Jackie puts it, “If you’re always planning a wedding, you don’t ever have time to plan a divorce.” Their system works for them as they are the only current cast members who are still married.
Malaysia, real name Laquisha Pargo, married former Chicago Bulls player, Jannero Pargo in 2006. The former music video model and NBA star appeared to have a strong foundation, giving viewers something fresh to look forward to on the show. They are parents to three children and fans watched Malaysia split time between LA and Chicago during filming. During the third season of Basketball Wives LA, problems in the marriage began to surface. In January 2014, Jannero posted a quote from a Jay Z song reading, “S*** i got 2 liv wit the fact i did u wrong 4ever.” He also posted a photo with the caption, “Once a good girl has gone bad, she’s gone forever.” Fans speculated that their marriage was on the rocks and was confirmed when TMZ reported that Malaysia filed for divorce in 2014. Outside of the social media posts, the two didn’t have a nasty drawn-out public war during their divorce. They split amicably, never bashing each other publicly in the press. Their divorce was final in 2016 with Malaysia getting half of Jannero’s NBA earnings and revenue from their marital assets.
The former Real World cast member was a basketball wife long before her stint on Basketball Wives. Tami Roman married NBA player, Kenny Anderson, not long after she appeared on the MTV reality show. The two married on a yacht and had two daughters, Jazz and Lyric. Infidelity plagued their marriage and Kenny had two outside children from his affairs. Tami eventually filed for divorce and received nothing from Kenny due to an iron-clad prenup. She entered their marriage with her $20,000 earnings from The Real World and was left to survive with just that when she and Kenny split. Times got hard for Tami and she ended up on public assistance in New York, with no help from Kenny. He later apologized to Tami publicly on an episode of Basketball Wives for failing Tami as a husband and not being the best father.
Brandi Maxiell joined the cast of Basketball Wives LA as best friend to castmember, Malaysia Pargo. The ovarian cancer survivor married her college sweetheart, basketball player Jason Maxiell, after a surprising battle with cancer that Jason supported her through. Jason shaved his head in solidarity with Brandi and debuted his baldhead during one of his NBA games. The two shared a sweet love for one another, and their son, but after a few seasons on the show, they separated due to Jason’s constant cheating. In an attempt to salvage their marriage, the two appeared on OWN’S Iyanla Fix My Life where Jason would admit to sleeping with over 300 women and having 50 affairs within his marriage to Brandi. Despite the devastating news, it looks as if love wins as the two have been sharing pictures together on their Instagram pages.
Meeka Claxton only appeared on one season of Basketball Wives but made it a point to tell her co-stars and fans that her marriage to NBA player, Craig “Speedy” Claxton, was one that would last forever. The luxury real estate professional enjoyed 16 years of marriage with Speedy and had two daughters during their union. Fans were shocked when Meeka announced in 2014 that she and Speedy were separated and making plans to officially end their marriage. She filed paperwork for a divorce five months after announcing their split and things quickly turned ugly. After three years of battling it out over court for child and spousal support, alimony, and division of property, theJasmineBRAND revealed that their divorce was finalized in June 2017.
Kenya Bell may have ended up as the wife of basketball player, Charlie Bell, but the Michigan born beauty had her own career before meeting her superstar husband. Kenya was crowned Miss Michigan USA in 2001 and finished the competition as a semi-finalist. Before her pageant title, she worked as a model, appearing in campaigns for Ford Motor Company and Bally’s. She caught the eye of Charlie and the two eventually wed and had two children. Kenya focused on charity initiatives as the wife of a professional athlete before joining Basketball Wives in 2012. Their union, unfortunately, did not last and Charlie filed for divorce after claiming Kenya attacked him with a box-cutter. He alleged in their divorce proceedings that Kenya blew over $300,000 to get even with him for ending their marriage. Their divorce was final the same year with Kenya scoring a large financial settlement. She’s now remarried and welcomed twins a few years ago with her new husband.
Tasha Marbury joined the Basketball Wives Miami cast in season 5. She married basketball player, Stephon Marbury, in 1999. While Stephon was not featured on the show, he remained a topic of discussion. Tasha’s co-stars questioned her about rumors of her husband’s past infidelity with the couple’s former chef. She confirmed that her husband and a member of their staff did have an affair that resulted in them paying her off to keep their business out of the press. Tasha is active on social media but has not posted photos of her and her husband to her Instagram account in years, leaving fans of the show to wonder if they have gone their sperate ways.
One-half of the famous Govan sisters, Gloria Govan and NBA star, Matt Barnes, weren’t high school sweethearts, but they grew up with one another. The two began dating in college and welcomed twin sons before getting engaged. They were set to marry but called off the wedding just days before, making them the topic of discussion in season 2 of the show. The two eventually walked down the aisle in 2013 in front of 300 guests in a beachfront ceremony, three years after they called off their first wedding. The split in 2014 and continue to battle it out in court over spousal support and custody of their sons in the present day. Both have moved on with other people. Gloria is engaged to Matt’s former teammate, Derek Fisher, which caused a rift between the two men.
All cast members may not have been basketball wives but this list proves that there may have been more than viewers expected.