Relationships come and relationships go. Tis the way of life, is it not?
Such things are expected, but they do hurt, regardless, and they hurt even more when it’s someone else’s doing – especially if it’s someone considered a friend
People mess other people’s relationships up all the time, and they do so in various ways. Whether it’s sleeping with someone else’s partner, ratting them out or simply speaking out of turn, there’s always going to be a victim.
The same goes for NBA players, who are by no means exempt from such wiles. Over the years, there have been quite a few players who had their relationship ruined by another NBA player.
Some of the events described below have never been proven, yet they made ripples when they hit the news, and were made to seem factual when the couples in question actually went their separate ways.
The rest have been confirmed, at least partially, and it’s really nothing to rejoice about, although it makes for spicy gossip. But no matter how fortunate our NBA stars seem to be, they’re only human, and get hurt just as bad as the rest of us do.
Anyhow, let’s delve in and take a look at 15 players who are thought to be guilty of playing a reprehensible role in another player's private life.
15 Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal probably couldn’t stand to be within five feet of each other off the court, but on it, they had a wonderful relationship. The former Lakers’ stars won three NBA titles together, and should have been best of friends – yet sadly, they weren’t.
Bryant famously ratted Shaq out during the investigations into the former shooting guard’s rape case in 2003 by giving a statement to the police, claiming that the Diesel either paid off his women or bought them cars.
As you could well imagine, that did not go down too well with Shaq’s then-wife Shaunie, who later went through a messy divorce with the ex-center.
Five years later, an apparently still bitter Shaq spat out a few bars in a night club. And it goes a little something like this:
“I’m a horse / Kobe ratted me out, that’s why I’m gettin’ divorced / He said Shaq gave a b***h a mil / I don’t do that, because my name’s Shaquille.
The hook? “Kobe, how my ass taste?” X a lot…
14 D'Angelo Russell
There seems to be a thing running in L.A. It’s like players skip the lessons on the Bro Code and head straight to the court.
A little over a year ago, D'Angelo Russell decided it would be funny to bait teammate Nick Young into speaking about his philandering ways while he secretly recorded a video. It is said that Russell only meant this as a prank, but the video somehow got out, first surfacing on a site called Fameolous before going viral.
Young was dating singer Iggy Azaleah at the time, and like everyone else, she caught wind of it.
After seeing the video, she tweeted: “hmmm i see D Angelo Russell is trending... I actually liked his film. Thanks bro.”
Thankfully, despite being known as ‘Swaggy P’ in many circles, Young hasn’t busted a rap. But then again, it did take Shaw five years.
13 Tony Parker
The French point guard is believed to have set a divorce between teammate Brent Barry and his wife Erin in motion by sleeping with her.
Parker, a four-time NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs, has never played for any other NBA team; if only he was that loyal to his wife Eva Longoria.
On a sad day in 2010, Longoria was shocked to find hundreds of dirty text messages on her husband’s phone. As you may have guessed by now, the messages were from a conversations between Tony and Erin.
“They knew each other, sent each other messages,” a source close to Parker. “It was flirtatious, but he never did anything with her.”
No one bought it, though, and both couples went through divorces thereafter.
“Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?” Just popped that in there because it must have been one of the messages. It would really be disappointing if it weren’t.
12 Delonte West
A bit of a weird one, this – as Delonte West didn’t affect the relationship between Lebron James and his better half, but probably had an impact on the forward’s relationship with his mom.
Yes that’s right. Some years, back, West was accused of sleeping with King James’ mother, which if true would make him a King himself – if that makes any sense.
To date, the rumour has never been confirmed, and West denied it quite vehemently.
“Number one, something like that never happened,” he explained. “I don’t know where they got that from. For a strong black woman like that, for people to try to tear her down, that’s terrible.”
So how do you know she’s strong then? In any event, let's hope the story isn't true.
11 Leandro Barbosa and Jason Richardson
If this is true, then we’ll probably all have some choice words for Alejandra Amarilla, Steve Nash’s ex-wife. But then again, we’ll probably never find out, will we?
Nash and Amarilla got separated shortly after the birth of their child, an event which certainly seems suspect.
Well, it was rumored that Nash’s Phoenix Suns teammate, Leandro Barbosa, was actually the father of said bairn because the child appeared to be of mixed race. Then the rumors changed, and pointed in Jason Richardson’s direction, as Amarilla was alleged to have slept with both these men at different points.
None of this has ever been confirmed, but a divorce did ensue, and Richardson was traded a year later. So your guess really is as good as mine.
10 Shannon Brown
While Shannon Brown did not end Pau Gasol’s relationship with girlfriend Silvia Castro – if he did sleep with her – he really upset the Lakers’ form. Again, if he did sleep with her.
Back in 2011, the side crashed out of the playoffs, rather surprisingly, with Gasol being the worst performer in the series. Rumors went rife, claiming that the Spaniard’s form was rocked by teammate Brown sleeping with his supposedly better half. Sources even went as far as reporting that the whole thing was put in motion by Kobe Bryant’s wife.
Just when things seemed to be spinning out of control, Brown tried put the rumor to bed by tweeting this: ““Ok let me put a end to this right now before it goes any further. I DID NOT SLEEP with @PauGasol woman!!! First and last time addressing it!”
9 Paul George
Not the kind of star you’d want as a role model for your kid. The Pacers forward got a stripper pregnant and shirked his paternal duties some years back. And he’s also been accused of sleeping with former teammate Roy Hibbert’s girl.
The rumor was said to have even sparked a fight between Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner. Stephenson, tired of being blamed for the team’s poor performances, lashed out by saying: 'Y'all need to look at Roy's ass, he's been off ever since he found out PG was f****** his b****'."
The outburst didn’t sit well with Turner, and things soon got ugly between the teammates, while Hibbert quietly walked away.
George later took to Instagram to speak on the allegations, putting up a pic of himself, George Hill and Hibbert on an apparent fishing trip.
He posted: "These rumors have got to stop! Its getting old now and all you that believe them are ignorant! #Brothers."
8 Derek Fisher
Matt Barnes isn’t the type to fall afoul of, but when you’re 95 miles away, you may feel safer taking the chance.
Former New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher should know Barnes’ temperament better than most, after all, the pair were teammates back in L.A. Yet 0.4 seconds after Barnes ended his relationship with Basketball Wives’ star Gloria Govan, Fisher stepped in and took over.
Barnes was tipped off by his children, who told him that the ex-Lakers guard was at the house he used to share with Govan one night, and he actually left a Grizzlies training camp, drove 95 miles, then lay a beating on Fisher.
“Barnes went crazy. He got in his car and went to the house and went after Fisher,” a source told the press. “Matt then drove down there to beat the s–t out of him.”
Police were called to the scene, but by the time they arrived, Fisher was gone.
Barnes, meanwhile, texted this to a buddy: “I kicked his ass from the back yard to the front room, and spit in her face.”
7 Shaquille O’Neal
Shaq is thought to be guilty of causing havoc himself. While Kobe’s snitching did cause irreparable damage to the ex-center’s marriage to Shaunie, his affair with the fiancée of former Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas is believed to have put the final nail in the coffin.
In 2010, two years after asking Kobe how his ass tasted, O’Neal allegedly slept with Laura Govan. The ruse was discovered when several raunchy emails leaked out.
Arenas initially rubbished the reports, but seemed to go back on his words last year by filing a defamation suit against Laura, who had accused him of giving her an STD.
The erstwhile guard now thinks that what she got, whatever it is (or was) from Shaq.
Must be one tall STD.
6 Andrew Bynum
The former Los Angeles Lakers star center took betrayal to a new level when he joined the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2013.
Andrew Bynum, who last played for the Pacers three years ago, skipped right past his teammates’ wives and when straight for one of his coach’s spouse. It’s not exactly the kind of thing you want to do when you join a team, especially if you want minutes, but the big man did it anyway - according to widespread rumors.
He earned himself a paid suspension by sleeping with Jamahl Mosley’s wife, Gannicus style, and the team let out that the ban was a result of ‘conduct detrimental to the team’. He was traded to the Chicago Bulls shortly after, only to be immediately waived by the team.
5 Kobe Bryant’s Teammates
Well serves him right, doesn’t it? After airing out Shaq’s supposed dirty laundry, a little payback was due for former Lakers guard Kobe Bryant.
Bryant’s wife Vanessa reportedly filed for divorce in 2011 after finding out, from the wives of her husband’s teammates, that he had been sleeping around.
The player (no pun intended) apparently bragged about his extra-marital activities to his colleagues, and some of them told their wives, who in turn told Vanessa. NBA players are said to have their wives pledge secrecy before divulging teammates’ dirty secrets, but that carried little weight when said spouses heard the juicy tales.
Fortunately for Kobe, and not so much for Shaq, the divorce never materialized. And the couple are still together. But it’s probably because he gave her another very expensive ring.
He has five and can afford to give away, you know.
4 Shaq… Again
Well he’s featured here quite a bit, but it’s mostly his fault – and Kobe’s of course.
The Diesel casually mentioned that ex-teammate Dwyane Wade was seeing actress Lauren London one time. In his defense, it wasn’t done maliciously. In fact, he was being a stand-up guy – in a weird way.
Allison Samuels, a respected journalist, was trying to hook Shaq up with a few ladies and mentioned Lauren London in an email. The former center replied by saying he didn’t want to get involved with her because she was ‘D Wade’s girl’. However, he was willing to settle for Allison herself, or a then 19-year-old Rihanna.
Wade was still married to Siohvaughn Funches at the time, and was apparently seeing Gabrielle Union too. Allison asked about Wade’s relationship with Union, to which Shaq replied: “He gottem all I want u or Rihanna.”
Shaq didn’t think that the email would ever got out, but unfortunately, it was among emails and texts brought up in a lawsuit and was made public knowledge. Funches filed for divorce a few months later.
3 Jim Jackson
Jim Jackson and Jason Kidd were once thought to be the youngsters who would lead the Dallas Mavericks to glory. But in 1996 it all came crashing down when Jackson stepped in between his teammate and beautiful singer Toni Braxton.
The players both had the hots for Braxton, and with Kidd having set up a date, the singer decided to stand him up and go out with Jackson that very same night. As you can imagine, Kidd wasn’t in the least bit pleased with Braxton or Jackson, and the rift between the players affected the team to the point where they both had to be traded.
Jackson, though, must have felt very pleased with himself as things are way more difficult when you’re taking the candy from a Kidd.
2 Rashard Lewis
Rumour once had it that former Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards forward Rashard Lewis caused a bit of a disturbance in LeBron James’ happy home by sleeping with his girlfriend Savannah in 2011.
LeBron has since married Savannah, which could mean that none of this was true, yet it was reported that Lewis nearly wrecked the superstar’s relationship in 2011. Whether or not it happened, LeBron’s play in the finals that year really hurt the Miami Heat, who lost out to the Dallas Mavericks that year.
ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith who had certainly caught wind of the rumor had this to say: “My theory is that he’s got a lot of distractions off the court and evidently, on occasion it tends to affect his play on the court.
“It’s happened to him in the past, it’s happening to him now. What that is, we’re not sure.”
Incidentally, James and Lewis became teammates in 2012 when Lewis joined the Heat from the Hornets, but they never appeared to have any beef.
1 Derek Fisher… yet again
Just what is it with Lakers and ex-Lakers. They seem to be dominating this field by a fair margin.
After getting a beatdown from Matt Barnes because he got involved with his estranged wife, Fisher was said to be creeping with the girlfriend of Tim Hardaway while he was coaching the player in New York.
Hardaway rubbished the rumours, but admitted having a conversation about it with his girl, who told him that it was true.
"I had a talk with my girlfriend. If you ask me, it is not true at all,” he declared, “I am completely positive with her judgment and what she said.”
Yet Fisher was fired just before talk began swirling, which gives the impression that something may have gone wrong behind the scenes. After all, losing isn’t foreign in New York.