Watching a show set in South Beach featuring attractive women drinking martinis and commiserating about the "mo money, mo problems" that their relationships with million dollar ballplayers have created for them is mind numbing. Yet, for reasons this writer is still scratching his head a bout, Sunday night I subjected myself to gazing at the spectacle of what's yet another example of the 'Kim Kardashian-ization' of reality relationship television.
I think the saying goes "it's better to keep your mouth closed and be thought of as a glorified groupie than to open it and remove all doubt." And that's exactly what happened to a few of the women on the premier episode of VH-1's 'Basketball Wives.' The show stars Shaunie O'Neal (Shaq's ex -wife), along with an assorted cast of girlfriends who are or were involved, on some level or another, with NBA players.
Each has a slightly different story to tell, which ranges from embittered to engaged to empowered. The latter distinction, however, belongs solely to Shaunie, as she appears so far to be the only one with the savvy and ambition to wear the hat of the show's executive producer. I can't knock her hustle.
Look, I've spent significant time thinking about it and, as a man, I can't imagine a more entertaining way to spend my twenties and early 30s than to play basketball, get paid millions of dollars to do so, invest wisely, stay single, protect myself and chase women up and down the rainbow. Star NBA players in their prime, as within any professional sport, are way too fortunate and far too fertile to take chances, let alone get married at such a young age. They're different. They live in an alternate universe of long money, short skirts and even shorter attention spans. Getting drawn into a one vagina vortex of matrimony, for most of them, should not be part of the pre-retirement plan. It's like taking sand to the beach.
The temptation is fierce though. You have the women wearing all types of attire and less and clinging to all types of agendas and more. But make no mistake -- some are genuine about falling in love, being married and starting families. Then you have others with "groupie-ish tendencies," as one cast member was accused of by another. In the final analysis, it's not for me to say who is who and who is up to what. I'm not into passing judgment like that or at least I try not to. What I know, for sure, is the women run the gamut, the players run the court and they all run game -- to one extent or another.
And next weekend after I watch a litany of playoff games, inexplicably I'll tune into the second episode of 'Basketball Wives.' The guilty pleasure is all mine. That is if it even airs. The latest word is Shaq's attorneys have sent VH1a cease and desist letter indicating that any future episodes that make any mention or reference to the seven footer will be considered a breach of the confidentiality agreement he has with Shaunie and will be treated accordingly.
Damn Shaunie...the ball is your court.