Basketball Wives cast addresses VH1 show’s title and how many of them aren’t wives at all

Shaunie O'Neal
Shaunie O’Neal addresses criticism of her show’s title, Basketball Wives. Pic credit: VH1

Basketball Wives is about to premiere Season 8 and in all these years, the show has been heavily criticized for its title. After all, not many of the cast members have ever been married to a basketball player and, as cameras roll, even fewer still are.

Over the years, Basketball Wives has starred not only the wives of basketball players but also the ex-wives, girlfriends, fiancees, ex-fiancees, ex-girlfriends and baby mamas. You get the idea. These are the women connected to professional basketball players, and sometimes they aren’t even (and never were) in the NBA.

In the latest clip promoting Basketball Wives Season 8, Malaysia Pargo (who was married to Jannero Pargo) and Evelyn Lozada, who has never been married to a basketball player, didn’t really seem fazed by criticism of their hit show or its name.

However, Shaunie O’Neal (who is also a former basketball wife, having been married to Shaquille O’Neal) had something to say.

“The fact that people still say, ‘Oh, they’re not wives, blah, blah, blah,’ I say get the f**k over it because we are 12 seasons in,” Shaunie said about her show’s title. “Everybody’s not a wife. We’ve been divorced, we’ve been married, we’ve been engaged, baby mama, whatever it is — you might be a girlfriend. You get the gist of it, OK? Let’s just not be that petty. OK, you’re not a wife.”

Shaunie then goes on to explain that casting actual, current basketball wives or even just women who are currently in relationships with basketball players can be extremely hard. Many don’t want to do the show, or possibly their partners don’t want them to do the show, because it will “open Pandora’s box,” Shaunie says.

That’s true! Over the years, Basketball Wives has been known for their drama and that’s why so many people tune in. Those who are currently playing in the NBA and their partners aren’t trying to get caught up in all of that drama and they don’t need to be.

While the name of the show likely won’t change, that didn’t stop the Basketball Wives cast from making jokes. Evelyn Lozada asked if viewers would suggest calling it “Basketball Wife Exes” or “Basketball Wife Hoes.”

Shaunie said she doesn’t want a show called “Shaunie and Friends” because she “wanna dip out sometimes.”

Basketball Wives airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on VH1. 

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