The Shaunie O’Neal-produced reality TV series Basketball Wives has given the public a view of the women associated with the NBA that couldn’t be further from the lives of real wives. At least that is what the wife of Kobe Bryant, Vanessa, wants the public to believe. Bryant, who is known for being reluctant to talk to the press, spoke candidly in a recent New York magazine article, “The Belles of B-Ball,” which chronicles actual spouses of the NBA. She revealed a life that is both stylish and perhaps challenging.
Unlike the drama that explodes weekly on screen during Shaunie’s show between ex-wives and former NBA girlfriends, Bryant assures the public that women like her — who are actually married to professional players — have no interest in conflict. “I’ve been with Kobe since I was 17, so I’ve seen plenty of players, and plenty of wives, come and go,” Bryant told the New York City-based outlet. “It wouldn’t benefit me whatsoever to have an issue with any of them, whether they were a girlfriend, or a wife, a person-of-a-month, or … you know.”
Speaking of the “you know” aspect of being married to a famous athlete, Bryant also addressed the couple’s decision to call off their divorce, which was initiated after ten years of marriage allegedly due to his cheating. “We’re working on things,” Vanessa added, while sporting a 25-carat ring as part of her everyday ensemble.
Bryant’s jewels are just one of the many expensive, high-fashion accoutrements deemed essential to dressing the part of a real basketball wife detailed deliciously in the story. Stella McCartney dresses, Chloé pants, Chanel bags, and of course Louboutin pumps are bought continuously by official NBA partners like Vanessa — and Kimberly Chandler, wife of New York Knicks player Tyson Chandler. Chandler is gifted in one scene of the story with an entire room of designer clothes from a luxury retailer.
Alexis Welch, fiancée of Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire, gets in on the style game as well. Shopping itself playing a crucial part in the recent trip to Paris during which Stoudemire asked for her hand.
Could that be because Stoudemire, like many famous “basketball husbands,” displays an interest in style as strong as the wives and companions who dress to kill at games? It’s likely so, and is certainly depicted as an ironic point of bonding between many wives their hubbies in the NBA by New York magazine.
But, the ease of shopping ’til you drop for the very best of everything while enjoying posh living is not compensation enough for every wife. Vanessa Bryant will only satisfied by one thing in return for the many emotional sacrifices a true basketball wife and her children must face.
“I certainly would not want to be married to somebody that can’t win championships,” Bryant said. “If you’re sacrificing time away from my family and myself for the benefit of winning championships, then winning a championship should happen every single year.”
Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb