Basketball Wives TV Poster Image

Basketball Wives

Reality doc about NBA women is voyeuristic and sensational.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Sends some very iffy messages about what being a supportive friend looks like. Also, with an emphasis on high-end brands and physical beauty, the show sometimes sends a skewed message about female success. On the other hand, the women discuss the downsides of having money without love and respect.

Positive role models

The women try to be supportive of each other as they navigate the highs and lows of being married to a basketball star, but they aren't always successful. Sometimes they're outright hurtful or violent with each other. Many of the basketball stars are depicted as womanizers.

Violence

The women often engage in catty behavior, including arguing, yelling, and occasional brawling. Women sometimes throw drinks in other women's faces in anger.

Sex

The women highlight their sexuality often by wearing revealing, tight clothing. Plenty of bikini shots. Some women dance suggestively, sometimes using stripper poles. A video of one woman’s sexy dancing ends up on the Internet.

Language

Words like “bitch,” “crap,” and “hell” are audible and frequent, while curses like “s--t” and “f--k” are bleeped but obvious.

Consumerism

Some name-dropping of fancy brands like Louis Vuitton.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The ladies drink wine, cocktails, and champagne frequently.

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.

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?

QUALITY

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. 

Families can talk 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.

TV details

Premiere date:August 29, 2011
Cast:Jennifer Williams, Royce Reed, Shaunie O'Neal
Network:VH1
Genre:Reality TV
TV rating:TV-14

This review of Basketball Wives was written by

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Parent Written byTYJAE315 June 28, 2011

what are they getting paid to do???ACT LIKE ASSES!!!!!

these women are a mess!!! I know they can find something better to do like take an acting class!!!!
Parent Written byGalida August 24, 2013

Dumb dry show

Very stupid show. Waste of time.
Kid, 11 years old January 23, 2013

Crazy Show not for kids!

Waht a bunch of crazy people!!!!!
What other families should know
Great messages