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“Basketball Wives” And “The Real Housewives" - Game On

Mike Vulpo |
August 8, 2011 | 1:38 p.m. PDT

Associate Entertainment Editor

"Basketball Wives" airs on Vh1 (courtesy of Vh1)
"Basketball Wives" airs on Vh1 (courtesy of Vh1)
Move over Bravo “Real Housewives.” You aren’t the only group of ladies that can put on a great show and provide plenty of drama and catfights.

VH1’s underrated “Basketball Wives” concludes its third season this week before a highly-anticipated reunion show. This summer’s guilty pleasure, which gets equivalent ratings to the “Real Housewives” franchise, hasn’t received the same amount of attention as Andy Cohen’s growing empire in tabloids and talk shows weekly. Nonetheless, VH1 knows they have a hit on their hands and the show is getting bigger and better.

To get caught up, season three has documented seven women who aren’t exactly all basketball wives. To be fair, it’s not like all of Bravo’s real housewives are married with children. Shaunie O’Neal (ex-wife of Shaq O’Neal), Evelyn Lozada (engaged to NFL player Chad Ochocinco), Jennifer Williams (ex-wife to Eric Williams), Tami Roman (ex of Kenny Anderson), Suzie Ketcham (ex of Michael Olowokondi), Royce Reed (cheerleader for NBA teams) and newcomer Meeka Claxton (wife of retired player Speedy Claxton) combined their strong personalities and had their friendships and feuds filmed for cameras. Season three has profiled Tami feuding with Meeka, Suzie playing both sides to two opposing alliances, Royce not getting along with hardly anyone and even a group trip to New York and Italy. Actually, Royce wasn’t invited to Italy….uhoh more drama.

Just like the “Real Housewives,” the women fight one minute and make up the next. They love their girl trips, which never end up fun and relaxing. Each lady has their boyfriend/men drama and every week is full of new twists and turns.

The drama remains off-screen too. Meeka recently filed a lawsuit against cast member Tami for a fist-fight that was caught on-camera. Royce and Jennifer have been caught in public Twitter feuds. Finally, Chad Ochocinco has had rumors of cheating on his fiancée, Evelyn.

VH1 has caught on to the successful show. Despite a less than stellar spin-off titled “Football Wives,” which only lasted 8 episodes, the cable network has confirmed a new spinoff titled “Basketball Wives Los Angeles” set to premiere August 29. The cast includes Ron Artest’s wife, Kimsha Artest, and former “Basketball Wives” star Gloria Govan, who is engaged to Lakers player Matt Barnes.

In a reality TV landscape where the “Real Housewives” dominate with seven different cities and groups of women, “Basketball Wives” is a great diversion with very similar drama and crazy antics fans love. There’s no doubt the “Real Housewives” is one-of-a-kind. Nonetheless, it appears that we can still handle a few more wives on television.

Reach reporter Mike Vulpo here.



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