At the highest point of four seasons, “Basketball Wives,” drew in over four million viewers in one night. Shaunie O’ Neal, Tami Roman, Royce Reed, Evelyn Lozada, Susie Ketcham and Jennifer Williams–the six main characters– turned their sideline lives into mainstream television, sparing none of their dramatic moments and foolish but HUMAN antics.
The original cast has changed a bit since the first episode which aired on April 11, 2010. The 30-minute premiere featured Shaunie, Jennifer, Royce, Susie, Evelyn and Gloria Govan. Govan was eventually ousted from the group after she and Shaunie didn’t see eye-to-eye. Gloria’s sister Laura allegedly slept with Shaq while he and Shaunie were married. She didn’t last long!
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From the first few catty episodes, we should have drawn the conclusion that these women weren’t the mature individuals portrayed in the promo shots and videos. Little did we know, it would only get worse as time passed.
Tami Roman was introduced to the group by Shaunie, who felt she would fit right in, during season two. Tami was the catalyst to the formula and chemistry of “BBW.” From the beginning, Tami let it be known that “real” women still existed on TV and first, Tami’s ratchet/entertaining ways were welcomed but over the course of time– became problematic.
Tami and Jennifer clashed during a charity event. Tami later smacked Meeka Claxton in the face after a verbal dispute. And, shortly after that, Evelyn Lozada became the her next rival.
Season four brought new levels of despicable behavior but higher ratings than ever! The trailer boasted violent altercations, slaps and bottles being thrown. Several lawsuits occurred during tapings and friends became enemies. Tami and Evelyn were labeled bullies and Shaunie–an enabler. Jennifer Williams being slapped in the face would act as the straw to break the back of the soaring show. Fans had enough of the bullying that occurred when Tami, Evelyn and Shaunie got together. Critics chimed in and formed a petition to get the popular show off the air.
The beef between Kesha Nichols and Tami Roman only added fuel to the fire. Tami Roman deleted her Twitter after being harassed about her embarrassing behavior but the damage was already done.
Slowly but surely, sponsors have begun to pull away from the show. Summer’s Eve–a major sponsor–is contemplating removing themselves from the show. The ratings for BBW have dropped significantly and Evelyn Lozada’s spin-off show with fiance–Ochocinco is in danger. VH1 is reportedly trying to stop the bleeding.
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Shaunie O” Neal announced:
“This has definitely been a heated season. “Basketball Wives” is filled with a lot of strong personalities with months, weeks, days and hours condensed into about 45 minutes each episode. Unfortunately, a lot of these personalities have clashed and let their opinions and emotions overwhelm them which has at times gotten the best of them, escalating into physical confrontations.
As this group has been blessed with strong, smart, independent, sassy women with as much passion as vocabulary, there’s NO excuse for physical violence. So the cast, SHED Media and Vh1 have done a gut check, to stop allowing physical violence demoralize the show and impose a no-physical violence policy.“
The problem with her statement is that, bullying doesn’t always have to be physical. Tami didn’t hit Kesha but broke her down to tears! “Basketball Wives” set the bar for reality TV but now may be made an example of. “BBW” may be on its last wooden leg with a termite just nibbling away!
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