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What exactly is a basketball wife?

The annoyance that many people are expressing over VH1’s reality series, Basketball Wives, is growing stronger by the days.

Yes, there are those who’ve been opposed the show from the beginning, but for the most part it was a peek for curious and envious eyes into a life that was long perceived as a glamorous mystery.

To call the Basketball Wives franchise a guilty pleasure is perhaps an understatement. There aren’t many current television shows, reality or not, that have throngs of viewers sitting all at once, watching, cheering, hating, texting and tweeting all at the same time.

Unfortunately, in the same fashion as the Mickey Mouse Club…

….its time to say good-bye.

The May 14 episode was beyond embarrassing; it bordered on insane.

Each cast member was responsible for the events that unfolded, even the victim, Kesha. Why did she even take this trip? Oh, yes, she has a contractual obligation to be bullied.

As for Shaunie, Evelyn, and Susie the Mouth, sitting idly by as one grown woman who you have a “friendship” with berates and intimidates another that you claim to like, is unacceptable. Its safe to say that the women have all been complicit in this foolishness at one point or another.

Finally, Tami, who is a fan favorite, displayed disturbing behavior in her emotional attack of Kesha. She has admitted to having anger management problems (ironically stemming from various forms of abuse at the hands of others) and they were on full tilt in Tahiti, but it just amazes me that no one (excluding the crew and producers because this is what they want) pulled her coattail to say, ENOUGH.

This brings me to the question, what exactly is a basketball wife? When this show first aired in the spring of 2010, it was somewhat promising. In creating this show, Shaunie’s intention was to give women who were married to or dating professional basketball players a platform to share their experiences and lives “behind the bench,” so to speak.

The initial knock against the show was that there was really only one true “basketball wife” and at the time that was Jennifer Williams. So, in season 2, Shaunie made an admirable effort to lend more authenticity by casting Juliannah Richmond and Kimberli Russell (wives of Mitch Richmond and Bryon Russell).

Unfortunately, Juli and Kim’s stories weren’t focused on very much and VH1 missed an opportunity to show ambitious, positive women who are married to athletes and what that entails.

That decision was indicative of the direction the show would take, and now it is a runaway train full of passengers who only seem to know how to argue, cuss, demean, disrespect, fuss, fight, and damn near maim one another.

At the Season 4 reunion show taping, Shaunie made a statement regarding the violence and negativity that shroud the show, and seems to be set on changing its direction, but is it too late? The show has been slated for a fifth season so we will see.

To me, the saddest part of all this is that I don’t believe any of these ladies ever WANTED to be portrayed this way, but I guess a deal is a deal?

In the meantime, if BBW is too much for you, you can watch La La’s Full Court Life which airs directly after and gives a truer depiction of a “basketball wife.”

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