A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality show featuring women who are engaged to, married to, or divorced from basketball stars contains frequent discussion of infidelity, divorce, and other relationship problems. Young basketball fans might be drawn to the show, but it contains some very strong language (“bitch,” “crap,” “hell” audible; “s--t,” “f--k” bleeped) and catty behavior that is very iffy for younger viewers. Drinking (wine, champagne, cocktails) is also visible. Occasionally high-end name brands like Louis Vuitton are discussed and/or visible.
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What's the story?
BASKETBALL WIVES is a reality series featuring past, present, and future wives of professional basketball players. The group of seven women is headed up by Shaunie O’Neal, former wife of Shaquille O’Neal, who shares her experience and advice with rookie wives like Royce Reed, whose relationship with ball player Dwight Howard has put her in an uncomfortable media spotlight. Other wives include Jennifer Williams (who is married to San Antonio Spur Eric Williams), Suzie Ketcham (formerly married to Boston Celtic Michael Olowokondi), and Evelyn Lozada, L.A. Clipper Antoine Walker’s former fiancée. Rounding out the group is Gloria Govan, who is planning to marry her fiancé, Orlando Magic’s Matt Barnes. The gang doesn’t always get along, but despite their differences they try to support each other as they cope with infidelity, divorce, loneliness, and being the target of the tabloid media.
Is it any good?
The series, which is produced by Shaunie O’Neal, offers a voyeuristic look at what life can be like for women who are married to professional athletes. It attempts to show some of the real challenges they face when attempting to maintain a stable relationship with their partners, including spending months apart from each other, dealing with flirtatious groupies, and living in their partner’s media spotlight. It also addresses some of the stereotypes about women who share their lives with NBA players, including those that characterize them as being promiscuous and/or greedy.
It contains most of the expected drama one expects from reality shows, but the willingness of these women to openly discuss some of the personal issues they had with their famous partners/husbands makes it a bit more sensational. Some may view these conversations as entertaining, but they are also intended to give these women a voice in a world that isn’t always conducive to stable relationships, and which sometimes appears to glorify inappropriate behavior among professional basketball players. It may not always be in good taste, but it is definitely revealing.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the reasons why these women would agree to discuss their personal lives with high profile basketball players on a reality show. What are they trying to accomplish by doing this? Do you think that the life of a basketball wife is as dysfunctional as they describe it to be on this show?
Do you think this show supports existing stereotypes about famous professional athletes and/or their partners? If so, how? What do shows like this do to the image of professional athletes? Does it change the way you feel about them? Parents: Here are some tips on how to talk to your kids about some of these issues.