Basketball Wives Episode One: Bad Blood and Booty Shaking
Hollywood may still have problems finding complicated roles for women of a certain age, but it is a golden age on reality TV for ladies over the age of 30 (who want to act like 12 year olds). While Miami may never get its own Real Housewives franchise on Bravo, VH1 hit us last night with the premiere of Basketball Wives, which is set in Miami, and we should note, is produced by the same production company that gives us Real Housewives of New York City.
In the same way that a basketball net is different from any other net, apparently women who boo-up with basketball players are just different from the rest of us. Something about letting a basketball player sink one in you changes you, makes you something more, something better. Just ask those nets.
So let's journey inside the world of the wonderful world of NBA wives, girlfriends and groupies, these wonderful, almost mythical beings.
First we have Shaunie O'Neal, the sorta-ex-wife of Shaquille O'Neal. She's the executive producer of the show, which basically means that she'll be the most boring character on the show. Honey, if you have behind-the-scenes power you don't let the editors show you in a negative light. You let all the other little wives and girlfriends around you make a fool of themselves and do the ratings-grabbing work, while you hold on to your dignity. This is all to say that Shaunie is our least favorite character on the show so far (zzzzzzzzzzzz), even though she, by far, had the biggest baller.
For a more exciting character we'll go for Evelyn Lozada, the ex-fiancée of Antoine Walker. She appears, not unlike an angel, high above the ground in the skies of Miami on the balcony of her high-rise apartment. See, Evelyn's boots were made walking and she walked on out on Walker, and took her pretty little shoes to Coral Gables and opened a shoe store on Miracle Mile. She's feisty, from the "boogie-down Bronx," and is clearly going to be the Regina George-style mean girl of the group here (I hear her hair is insured for $10,000).
Then there's Royce. She's 28 but looks 15. Actually, no, scratch that she looks like a puppy. A sad, confused little chihuahua puppy. The kind of puppy that pees all over your house, and then you tell it not to pee all over your house. You take it aside and tell it never to pee again, and it looks at you with those puppy dog eyes like it understands. But it doesn't, because it's just a little puppy, and it's totally going to keep peeing all over your house. Except instead of peeing on your carpet, Royce like to dance. Preferably with her shorts around her ankles and her ass in the air.
Royce loves dancing so much she was a professional dancer, formerly with the Miami Heat and Orlando Magic. The show alludes to her past, with one of the girls saying, "she's had relationships with multiple players in the past." She doesn't clarify whether those were at the same time or not. Though she's most infamous for being the baby mama of Dwight Howard, and he sued her for $9.2 million after posting picture of their child online.
Anyway, because Royce is basically a puppy, while the girls were out and about at BED she spotted something shiny off in the distance. Shiny things please Royce regardless of what they are, but when it's a shiny stripper pole, well the poor thing just can't help herself. So soon enough she's up working the pole better than any woman with a young child really should.
The girls aren't exactly pleased with Royce's dancing, but they make mistake of taking her to a party at the Fontainebleau hosted by Terrell Owens and Ludacris -- where of course there's a booty dancing contest, because, hey, the Fontainebleau stopped pretending it was classy years ago.
This is what happened, a reminder to never let your puppy of its leash in public until it's fully trained:
Of course, Evelyn and the other girls have to pretend that they were aghast at way the saw, even though in the clip they seem to be enjoying it. So they take her aside with a rolled up newspaper and hit her over the head repeating "No more booty shaking, no more booty shaking." Though, we doubt this is the last of Royce's ass we've seen.
There's a few others. Gloria Barnes, the new wife of Matt Barnes, who swears up and down that she won't get cheated on like all the other basketball wives. Her man is different. I'm sure that's exactly what Sandra Bullock thought too.
Gloria may be the starry-eyed image of basketball wife purity, but apparently she has an evil groupie sister who may or may not have been hooking up with Shaq. Which begs two questions: 1) Are there mothers out there who raise their girls to be basketball groupies? I mean really, two girls in one family? 2) How many women really want to sleep with Shaq. I mean, I know he's got millions and is super famous, but uh, he's so Shaq. The man is Kazaam, OK. We prefer to think of him as an asexual being. Wouldn't taking it from Shaq be like ...IDK, letting the Grimace tap that?
Of course, there's some distance between Gloria and Shaunie, but they make up rather quickly, because, well, even Shaunie's drama is boring on this show.
There's other girls too. Jennifer Williams, wife of Eric Williams, is apparently thinking about divorce. Ruh roh. That'll come into play later in the season, but it was only mentioned in passing in the premier. Last, but not least is Suzie Ketcham (no relation to Ash), the ex of Michael Olowokondi. She has potential hot mess written all over her, but she's mostly a background character so far.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.