Basketball Wives is currently in its 10th season, and the biggest critique is that not many cast members are married to NBA players on the show, despite its title. There have been discussions on social media regarding why actual wives have been hesitant to join,



especially since the NBA boasts many long-term couples, one of which was Kobe and Vanessa Bryant. But Vanessa was reportedly asked to join on several occasions.



The show premiered in 2010 on VH1. The mothership franchise was based in Miami, with a spinoff airing the following year in LA. Both franchises have merged, with filming taking place primarily in LA.

When the show initially premiered, executive producer and cast member Shaunie O’Neal was midway through her divorce from Shaquille O’Neal, and the only other wife on the show was Jennifer Williams.



By Season 3, Williams filed for divorce from former Boston Celtics player, Eric Williams. Meeka Claxton, then-wife of NBA champion Speedy Claxton joined the show a few seasons later but only lasted for one season. The same was said for Tasha Marbury.

Per TMZ, Bryant was on the top of the list for casting from the start. The Insider reported in 2017 that Bryant was still desired to be on the cast.



At the time, she’d filed for divorce from Bryant, and was reportedly offered a major contract but turned it down. “No disrespect to the other ladies,” a knowledgeable source told the publication. “‘Basketball Wives’ just isn’t Vanessa’s style.”

With all of the drama surrounding her divorce filing at the time, including Kobe’s alleged ongoing infidelity, TMZ reported that Bryant was viewed as a potential main cast member. “Vanessa has more than enough story line and would bring the show to another level,” FOX News reported at the time.



O’Neal appeared on The Tamron Hall Show and addressed criticism that the show’s cast is void of actual wives. She admitted that the initial concept of the show was to feature all wives, but it took a different turn.

Vanessa Bryant achieved one of her husband's dreams in a major investment.“Well, you know, honestly, when it first started, it was going to be wives,” she began. “When I had the idea, I was a basketball wife. That’s kind of where it started. But it has evolved into, not so much.

”O’Neal elaborated on why the cast has such few wives. With the exception of Jackie Christie, and now Brandi Maxielle, all other castmates are either divorced or were never actually married to a player. Instead, some were in long-term relationships without ever tying the knot.

“If you are a wife and you come on this show or do reality TV at all, it opens up Pandora’s box,” O’Neal explained. “Honestly. People are not nice.

So for a successful flourishing marriage, you have to be really, really strong to join this journey. It’s not so much a message, I think it just ended up being the way it is and how it all works.

It’s a lot easier for a woman who’s been in a relationship with these guys or maybe just dating to be on this show than it is a — there aren’t a lot of Jackie Christies.

Jackie Christie is in a successful long-standing marriage, and Doug supports her on this show, and he participates. It’s not a lot of those guys, so it’s hard. It’s hard to be a wife of a player and do reality TV. That’s just my opinion.”

As it turns out, Basketball Wives was not her first offer. In a since-deleted Tweet, as reported by The List, she denied that she would join the VH1 series and confirmed that she’s received multiple offers for her own show in the past.

“Absolutely 100% no. Kobe and I were approached to do a reality show after Nick and Jessica started Newlyweds, then they wanted my friend La La and I to do one, years ago,” she wrote. “

I really enjoy my privacy and I love being my goofy and sarcastic self with family and friends. I certainly don’t want to enable people to think they have a significant opinion on what goes on in my life.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here