Shaunie O'Neal on Basketball Wives' Evelyn Lozada and Tami Roman
If you're anything like us, you look at your DVR and think to yourself, "What the hell is my deal?" It mainly consists of an occasional Oprah episode, everything airing on Bravo and anything that somehow involves a wife of some kind. And our personal favorite is Basketball Wives. Why? Honestly, we're not not sure. But we're fascinated by these ladies and there is no turning back at this point. Who do we have to thank for this award winning programming? Miss Shaunie O'Neal.
Not only was it her idea to get her and her entourage on TV, but she is
the executive producer of the show. And we know she can run shit, due
to the fact that her nugget stature stood up to Shaquille O'Neal. And
this season on Wives, she stood up to more bullshit than Shaq
probably ever put her through. So when we got a chance to chat with her
yesterday, we didn't hold back. We asked her about everything from her
cougar status, the infamous throwdown on the finale and even the elephant in the room: Why the hell is the show called Basketball Wives?
Cultist: Why call the show Basketball Wives if none of you're still actual NBA wifeys?
Shaunie O'Neal: At some point, most of us were going to be wives or were wives. It's the same as any other housewives shows. A lot of the people in the cast aren't wives, but it's still called something wives. Whether you actually made it down the aisle or not, that's our common bond because you're always in that role.
We see you with a hot younger man this season. Are you guys still together?
Yes, we are.
He is 23 years old, so, does that make you a cougar?
I don't really care. It doesn't bother me. I mean, I am older than him, so if everybody wants to call it cougar, I guess that's me.
Would you ever date another athlete?
I'm the kind of girl that could never say never to a few things. But you never know whom you're going to fall in love with. I can't say I would never date another athlete. They aren't in my top choices, but you never know what will happen.
The fight between Tami Roman and Evelyn Lozada on the finale: tell us about it.
You would never imagine that two grown women would have a physical altercation. Especially ladies that are friends and I'm both of their friends, so to sit there between it, I was just like, "Oh my God." I thought they would be able to talk, and even argue, but I never thought it would get physical. It breaks my heart every time I see it.
Why the hell did Evelyn tell her the night of Jennifer William's birthday dinner?
You know what? I don't know. She has her own reasons for bringing it up. I don't want to put words in her mouth or try to explain why she did it, but you open those cans of worms you, have to deal with it. Everything happened so fast. I don't know why she chose to say it at Jennifer's birthday or at all.
What about the rumors that Evelyn is leaving the show?
I talked to her yesterday and she didn't tell me she was leaving the show. She is having a difficult time with the world judging her right now and having a lot to say. I'm just trying to be there for her. Its hard emotionally and mentally for the world sitting back and saying what they think of her. I feel for her in that way. At the end of the day, she is my friend with or without the show. But to confirm: she didn't tell me she was quitting.
Did you know about Tami's ex Kenny Anderson and Evelyn's romance before that night?
I found out that night. Jennifer knew because they were friends back then. I didn't know Evelyn till her and her ex played together in Miami. I guess it just never came up. I guess maybe it could of when Tami joined the show, but she never felt the need to bring it up. I know she did struggle with when the right time to tell her was, and I don't know if that night was the right time to tell her.
What do you think of Evelyn and Ochocinco?
All I know is that if my friend is happy, I'm happy. If he makes her happy, then that is all that matters to me. I have met Chad. He is really sweet and they seem happy together.
Is it true that Royce Reed is leaving and Chris Bosh's ex Allison Mathis is replacing her?
No, Royce isn't leaving; she will definitely be back next season. I have never talked to Allison. What is her name--Allison, right? No one comes on the show that I haven't met, talked to, I mean, something. I know nothing of her coming on the show. I know she did reach out to the production company because she had interest to join the show, but I don't think it has gone past there. I heard about it from TMZ just like everyone else.
Can we expect new faces next season?
I won't say names because were in our final stages of contracts and such, but you will see a few new faces. As of right now, all the old faces except Suzie.
Wait, Suzie isn't coming back?
She was teeter-tottering the last couple of weeks, but I think her final answer was no as of last week. At the reunion last year and then her going to jail, it was just a bit much. Then season two with all the drama with Evelyn, I think it just got too stressful for her. I understand that, so she decided to take a step back.
Does all the drama with Tami start when she has a few drinks in her?
I think were going to be smart season three and keep that away. I'm really not a drinker, and neither is Tami, and apparently she doesn't ever need to do so. She doesn't have a drinking problem, but I think she just doesn't handle her liquor well. The booze and the cigarette is just a bad combination.
What can we expect from the reunion?
Royce has a lot to say. I mean, a lot to say. I was actually shocked. I really sat back and became an audience member for a little bit. Evelyn and Royce really go at it at one point, and no one gets hit, but it gets really heated. There are some serious cutting words said at the reunion.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Miami and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.