Athletes have been known to be unfaithful in every area of sports and basketball is absolutely no exception. There’s something about the combination of sleek bodies, mass media coverage, and piles of cash that drive men to desire the company of many, many women. There are a lot of beautiful ladies out there and sometimes it’s hard to say no. Proverbially, they want to have their cake and eat it, too. And they’ve got the money and the power to make that happen.
Problems arise when the dirty secrets get out and loving partners begin to lose trust and admiration for their partners. Although it’s pretty sad, adultery in the NBA world has become so commonplace that it’s known as the “Baller Wife’s Burden”. It’s become expected that if you’re married to an NBA star, you can expect him to be unfaithful. It’s how you deal with it that makes all the difference.
Some wives want millions of dollars for the years they spend supporting their cheating spouses. Others set up shop on reality TV shows like Basketball Wives to maximize their time in the limelight. Some seek revenge, some even the score, and some just let their husbands be free to sway from the nest in hopes that they’ll return knowing the grass is rarely ever greener. Here’s a list of 15 famous NBA stars who got caught sampling some goods of the extramarital variety.
15. Paul George
This is one of the craziest stories on this list. Paul George was married to Callie Rivers, who is the daughter of the LA Clippers head coach, Doc Rivers. Probably not the girl you’d want to cheat on if you wanted to keep your career. “How did he get caught?” you might ask. Well, he got caught sleeping with a stripper on a boat (the whole thing happened at a yacht party) because he didn’t use a condom and she got pregnant. Trying to keep the whole thing hush hush, he is rumoured to have offered her $1 million to terminate the pregnancy. The exotic dancer refused, and shortly after the birth of his daughter, George was dating someone else. Hey Paul, ever heard the term “don’t sh** where you eat”?
14. Raymond Felton
Raymond Felton probably thought he had it made when he married Ariane Raymondo, the bright and beautiful law school student from New York City. But Felton got greedy, and that came back to bite him right where it hurt most. After only 19 months of marriage, the couple got into a huge fight on Valentine’s Day about his affairs with other women and Raymondo filed for divorce shortly after that. Ariane turned Felton’s loaded semi-automatic gun into the police during their separation, stating that he had threatened her with the weapon and she felt uncomfortable having in her home. Once the police had collected all the facts, Felton turned himself in to authorities. I guess marrying a lawyer didn’t work out the way he thought it would.
13. Dwyane Wade
I always feel so bad for the kids when I hear about stories like these. Dwyane Wade, now married to Bring It On’s Gabrielle Union, had a illicit affair with Damon Wayans Jr.’s girl Aja Metoyer where she got pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy, Xavier. With perhaps a bit less than what could be considered class, Aja wrote Gabrielle a lengthy letter depicting all the details of her love affair with Union’s man, right down to flight schedules and meal plans. Apparently during their romance Wade and Union were actually not one a break and even though the two are still together, Gabrielle refuses to acknowledge Xavier as one of Dwyane’s sons. Talk about a classic case of living with your head in the sand!
12. Lamar Odom
At one point, Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian seemed to be the perfect reality TV couple. But is that actually a thing that exists? Behind the fancy meals and the extravagant vacations, trouble was brewing worse than anyone could have expected. Recently, Kardashian admitted that Lamar cheated on her on her birthday but that she lied to her family about it to cover up for him. Then, Lamar released a video talking about his unfaithfulness, his continued drug use, and how he was going to make money after the NBA. When Khloe wanted to know all the details of her loser ex-boyfriend she hired a private investigator and wasn’t too happy to learn what was discovered. She found out Lamar had cheated on her not with one, but with five separate women.
11. Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant’s wife Vanessa filed for divorce after 11 years of marriage citing irreconcilable differences, but I think we all know it had a lot do to with infidelities. Remember that incident in 2003, when Kobe was charged with sexual assault? That didn’t seem to shake Vanessa’s faith in her husband but nine years later (and many circulated rumors of him having affair after affair), she’d had enough. Vanessa was to be given their mansion in Orange County along with millions in cash. They decided to share custody of their two daughters, Natalia and Gianna, but a year after their divorce announcement, they decided to call it off and get back together again. And just a few months ago, the couple introduced a third little girl to the world, Bianka.
10. LeBron James
It was only a matter of time before rumors of LeBron James’ infidelity hit the Internet. He married his high school sweetheart Savannah in 2013, 12 years after they’d started dating. She’s the mother of his children but apparently she’s not the only woman on his mind. What is it with the Cleveland Cavaliers? Seems like someone’s putting aphrodisiacs in the water. James was busted just months after his wedding when NBC associate producer Stacey Klein posted on Instagram about him asking “a girl for her number, right in front of me.” Since then, he’s been romantically linked to Sports Illustrated covergirl Nina Agdal, XO singer Jasmine, and Latina model Carmen Ortega. We can only hope he doesn’t bring this sort of behaviour home to the family.
9. Tony Parker
At one point, Tony Parker had it made. He was at the top of his game, he married Desperate Housewives babe Eva Longoria, and he was raking in the dough faster than he could spend it. But trouble quickly entered paradise when Parker left his electronic devices on and out in the open. Longoria took a quick peek and saw that he was sending hundreds of texts to other women. Rumored to have frequented gentlemen’s clubs, Parker was no stranger to the affections of women and enjoyed surrounding himself with sexy ladies. The real shocker is that Erin Barry, wife of former NBA star Brent Barry, was one of these women. So not only did he cheat on his wife, he also fooled around with his teammate’s lady. Not cool, Tony!
8. Daniel Gibson
Daniel Gibson played for the Cleveland Cavaliers when he was married to the American singer-songwriter Keyshia Cole. As exceptional as she was to him, her love just didn’t seem to be enough. Keyshia caught him “making it rain” with dollar bills on a stripper whom he was rumored to have slept with, making her green with envy. Once their marital trust had been broken, Keyshia kept her eye out for any further suggestions of infidelity. She caught him red-handed texting another woman and took matters into her own hands. Cole snapped a photo of the text, posted it to Instagram, and shared his cheating a** with the whole world. Later, she accused him of bringing yet another woman into their bed. Gibson, when will you learn?
7. Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq’s less-than-gentlemanly tendencies came to light when Kobe Bryant threw him under the bus during his 2003 trial for sexual assault. Bryant made strong hints that he should have “paid his girls off” like Shaquille O’Neal. Shortly after, Shaq blamed Bryant for his wife leaving him through a rap video he posted online. He admits to cheating on his then-wife Shaunie, but for some reason thinks he did it respectfully. Like showing respect to your spouse means sleeping with another person. Celebs really do live in a different world! So much so, that on the reality TV show Basketball Wives, Laura and Gloria Govan spoke about the affair Laura had with Shaq right in front of Shaunie. Are all the rules different for the rich and famous.
6. Steve Nash
When Steve Nash’s wife Alejandra announced she was pregnant with their third child, rumors spread like wildfire that Nash’s former teammate Leandro Barbosa was the father. Supposedly, the two had been having an affair behind Nash’s back. After Alejandra gave birth to their son, Steve filed for divorce. The media had a heyday thinking she was busted for sleeping with another man. A man whose son couldn’t possibly pass for Steve Nash’s. That was before this article came out in the Arizona Foothills magazine, showing Alejandra and three clearly Caucasian children. Apparently the real reason for divorce was infidelity on Steve’s part with a 22-year-old woman and that was why he never fought the Barbosa rumours. He was looking to direct the media’s attention in another direction to fly under the radar.
5. Matt Barnes
This is maybe an example of a couple that really belongs together. A few years ago, back when Barnes played for the Orlando Magic, he got caught cheating on his wife Gloria Govan with a pretty little blonde from Miami. He admitted his guilt. However, his wife is no angel either. Govan’s been romantically tied to a number of different men over the years. One of which was rapper and bodyguard Avant Rose, who claimed he slept with Govan in the home she shares with Barnes. Rose and Barnes got into a Twitter argument over these allegations and shortly after, Barnes released a statement saying his wife (and the mother of his children) cheated on him with his own friend. Do two cheaters deserve each other?
4. Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan was rich when he played basketball but made even more money when he stopped being an active player. Which worked out well for his wife Juanita Vanoy, who after 17 years, was tired of his infidelities and filed for a divorce. The most expensive divorce in the history of the sports world, at that. She took home a modest settlement to the tune of $168 million for her troubles. Karla Knafel was one of MJ’s more well-known mistresses, who was offered $5 million to keep quiet about their affair after Jordan retired. Another high-profile cause was that of Pamela Smith, who claimed MJ fathered her son, Taj (who was born while he was married to Juanita). Although he was not the father of her child, she still managed to drag him into a highly publicized court case, indicating that he did have a sexual affair with this woman.
3. Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley had been a player long before the Internet caught on to his game. He was even known to give advice on how to cheat successfully, by saying things like “ keep your wives and girlfriends away from each other.” Sounds pretty sleazy to me! Miraculously, he is still married to his wife of nearly 30 years, Maureen Blumhardt, with whom he has one daughter, Christiana. Despite being a family man, Barkley was caught in 2008 propositioning a dancer in a San Antonio strip club to come back to his hotel room. He probably offered her money and she knew where it was headed. To his disdain, she turned him down, so maybe he doesn’t have as good a game as he thinks he does. I wonder what Christiana thinks about all this?
2. Stephon Marbury
You know the age-old fear of your husband running off with the nanny? Well this actually happened to Stephon Marbury’s wife Tasha Marbury, except it wasn’t the nanny, it was the chef. And he didn’t run away with her, he just slept with her in the house he shared with his wife and children. Which situation is worse? According to court documents, chef Thurayyah Mitchell had sexual relations with Marbury on five separate occasions during her employment by the family. She said it was implied that her sleeping with Stephon was part of her “duties” and she did it to keep her job. Marbury paid her nearly $1 million to keep their affair a secret from his wife and the media, but at some point he stopped sending her money and the cat got out of the bag.
1. Andrei Kirilenko
Andrei Kirilenko’s wife is used to the fast-paced lives of basketball players since her father, Andrey Lopatov, played basketball for the Russian Olympic team in the 1980s. It could be due to this over-exposure to the lifestyle, or even to her Russian heritage, but this is one basketball wife who doesn’t mind if her husband strays from the nest. As long as it’s only once per year, that is. She believes that once something is forbidden, humans obsess over it to the point we can’t control ourselves. So if she lets her husband get freaky with someone else once in a while, he won’t think about it all the time and he’ll be more committed to their relationship. So far it’s working, since the two have been married for 16 years and seem to be happier than ever!