The world of professional sports is full of temptation. Since big money, beautiful bodies and a lot of time away from home are integral elements of professional sports, it's not hard to understand why athletes are especially prone to infidelity. Even clean-cut ones like David Robinson were practically chased all over by women.
NBA players play around 41 games away from home during the regular season, which gives them around 41 occasions to cheat on their significant others. Some partners, like Masha Lopatova - Andrei Kirilenko's wife - understand the lifestyle, and openly allow the players to cheat, as they know that it will happen anyway. The couple has been happily married for 17 years, so it seems she knows what she's doing.
It takes an especially strong-willed individual to resist this urge and only a selected few, like A.C. Green or Tim Duncan come to mind. Truth be told, no player is free from temptation. This all has to do with the culture of the NBA, which allows the players to expect women whenever they show up in another town. This list is not judgmental or critical. It simply intends to inform you of some of the athletes who couldn't resist temptation on the road.
Here are 15 NBA Stars Who Went "Out Of Bounds" In Their Relationships.
15 Michael Jordan
This entry could be number one based on the name of the one committing the act and his very family friendly branding but compared to others on this list, it wasn't that exceptional of a case. It's not like people didn't suspect Jordan wasn't all that perfect. When his wife divorced him after 17 years, it was revealed that MJ had numerous affairs. Actually, that was the main reason she filed for divorce - she got fed up with his cheating.
Karla Knafel, Jordan's former mistress, came out in 2002, claiming that the two had an affair. As far as 1991 she told MJ that she was pregnant with what she assumed was his baby (it really wasn't), he offered her $5 million dollars to perform an abortion. Jordan admitted he gave the woman $250,000 to keep quiet. He also told her that his wife was "hired help."
14 Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal's intimate life seems very... adventurous. In 2011 a man was (allegedly) kidnapped because he was (allegedly) in the possession of a "tape" starring the player. Amidst his own scandal, Kobe Bryant claimed that O'Neal paid-off women just to stay silent. O'Neal himself admitted that he cheated on his (now) ex-wife Shaunie, but he did it in a respectful way.
That respectful part was in doubt, as Shaq's then mistress Vanessa Lopez sued him for harassment. Fortunately, he won the case and somewhat cleared his name, even though the woman extensively discussed his fetishes. To be fair, O'Neal blames the break up with Shaunie all on himself and his infidelity, claiming he wasn't the best partner.
13 Allen Iverson
He might've brought you to tears with his Hall of Fame speech, as he addressed his ex-wife by calling her "the love of his life," but there's a very dark side to Allen Iverson, one that has been kept secret thanks to his basketball achievements. According to a book by Kent Babb, Iverson has a serious drinking problem and a long history of family abuse and violence. "The Answer" isn't a model father, nor a model husband. During the divorce proceedings his wife demanded a list of everyone the player has been with, so you can be sure that this wasn't the only time Iverson cheated on his wife.
12 Lamar Odom
Lamar Odom married Khloe Kardashian just one month after the couple first met, but the relationship lasted seven years. At times, at least on the reality show, the couple seemed quite happy. Odom was at the time a very useful player for the Lakers, and even won two championship while married to Khloe. The problems started to occur once Odom was traded by the Lakers in 2011.
Odom had an addictive personality, so after the trade he turned to substance abuse and women, which made for some real-life drama that the creators of the reality show could never fabricate. A private investigator hired by Khloe found out that he was cheating on her with five different women. In 2015 Odom was found passed out in a brothel in Nevada. The couple divorced in 2016.
11 Paul George
Marriages with prominent coaches' daughters are problematic. Just ask Sergio Aguero, who is now divorced from Diego Maradona's daughter. Aguero actually played for Maradona, but it seems that Paul George will never join the Clippers or any other team coached by Doc Rivers. George cheated on Rivers' daughter with an exotic dancer and allegedly offered her $1 million for an abortion.
Callie Rivers moved on from George but remained loyal to basketball, as she also dated Dexter Strickland and Kyrie Irving. Daniela Rajic, the woman whom George met at a yacht party in Miami, gave birth to their daughter and is actually expecting a second child. It seems that the two have actually fallen in love.
10 Alonzo Mourning
This wouldn't be so well-known if Mourning didn't mention his infidelity in his biography, "Resilience." In the book he admits that during his early days in Charlotte he wasn't the model partner and was too engulfed in the bachelor lifestyle. Mourning and his partner Tracy had some problems and she eventually left him. However, once she found that she was pregnant, the two got back together and married in 1997, after Mourning was traded to the Heat.
The couple have three children and do charity work together in Miami. While the initial infidelity led to them breaking up, once he learned that he was going to be a father, Mourning decided to take responsibility for his actions. That may have a lot to do with himself being from a broken home. Mourning was so displeased with his parents' constant arguments that when he was ten he entered foster care by his own admission.
9 Nick Young
Swaggy P is a legend on and off the basketball court. On the court he hasn't seen a three-point shot that he didn't like, while off it he's a perfect oddball, adored by fans throughout the league. When he started dating Iggy Azalea, he and the Australian rapper seemed to get along just fine. As cool as he is, Nick Young reportedly took her to Target on their first date. The couple moved in together and were supposed to get married.
This changed when Young's teammate, D'Angelo Russell, shared a video of Young talking about how he had been with a 19-year-old whom he had met in a club the night before. This was supposedly an element of an ongoing prank war in the Lakers locker room. Unfortunately, the video went viral and Azalea didn't get the joke. Instead, she broke up with Young, while Russell was traded away by the Lakers after the season was over. Young is now on the Warriors, chasing a ring. Maybe things didn't turn out so bad for him.
8 Carlos Boozer
"The Bachelor" contestant Michelle Money (is that her real name? if so... wow) was a hair stylist in Salt Lake City, home of the Utah Jazz. Before she got on the show and became one of its most controversial contestants ever, Money had an affair with Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer. The problem is that he was married at the time.
Boozer divorced from his wife before Money revealed what she did, and later on she admitted that she felt guilty about it. She also claimed that Boozer lied to her and said he was separated from his wife, while he filed for divorce when he and Money were still a couple. They broke up soon afterwards. In 2012, Boozer and his first wife, Cindy, remarried, but divorced again in 2015. In 2017 the power forward married Anishkah Smith.
7 Stephon Marbury
Picked behind Iverson in the 1997 NBA Draft, Marbury one-ups The Answer in "private" exploits, as he was having affairs in his family home with the family chef on numerous occasions. The woman, Thurayyah Mitchell, became involved with her boss, because she believed that it was part of her contract. According to the court documents Marbury paid the woman as much as $1 million to keep the affair secret. She revealed it once he stopped paying.
Marbury is still with his wife, Latasha, despite his affair. She even discussed the issue on the "Basketball Wives" reality show and claimed that it was all in the past. The couple have three children and currently live in China, where the 40 year-old player is working on developing his basketball brand.
6 Ruben Patterson
Ruben Patterson was a decent forward for the Portland Trail Blazers for a couple of seasons. He called himself "Kobe stopper," because he believed he could contain the Lakers superstar. Whether he was able to do so is up for debate, although the player is better known for the inability to control his sexual appetite, as since 2001 Patterson is a registered sex offender and has to notify his neighbours about it every time he moves to a different home.
In 2000, as a member of the Seattle SuperSonics, Patterson attempted to assault his children's nanny. The fine wasn't so harsh, as he just had to pay $5,000 and Patterson signed a $35 million deal with the Blazers around that time. Unfortunately he couldn't control his anger as well and his wife divorced him after finally having enough of the domestic abuse.
5 James Worthy
Once it was revealed, James Worthy's scandal was a pretty big deal. Right now it pales in comparison to those mentioned earlier, but it deserves to be so high precisely because of the way it was perceived then. Even Michael Jordan commented on it in Sam Smith's book "The Jordan Rules," as the story underlined how careful superstars must be to not get their images tarnished.
During the 1990-91 season, the Lakers' All-Star forward called an escort service and ordered two women to his room. Instead, he was charged with solicitation, as the women were undercover police officers. Worthy was in jail, but managed to make it to the arena shortly after tip-off of the game against the Rockets in Houston and even played in it, which shows how little he cared about the whole issue. He was married to Angela Wilder at the time.
4 Tony Parker
When you cheat on one of the most beautiful and famous women in the world, you better be smart enough to not get yourself caught. The Spurs point guard failed to do so, as he was exposed to be cheating on the Desperate Housewives' actress Eva Longoria with his teammate's wife, Erin Barry.
Longoria was a lifelong Spurs fan - and her love for the franchise hasn't been rocked by the divorce, which is applaudable - when she met Parker. They have been married for three years and together for six, until 2010, as Parker's affair was revealed and Longoria filed for divorce. Brent Barry divorced his wife earlier the same year.
3 Kobe Bryant
You've probably heard about Bryant's 2003 assault case, so there's no point in bringing that up again. The real problem is that Bryant hasn't learned from his mistake in Eagle, Colorado, and continued to cheat on his wife. While the alleged number of his mistresses is around 100, no names were confirmed. According to the rumours they include actress Sanaa Lathan and rapper Trina. The first was seen at a party with Bryant, the other rapped about him.
In 2011 after ten years of marriage, Vanessa Bryant filed for divorce. She could've received about $100 million, but surprisingly she decided to stay with the player, and the couple seem happy together.
2 Karl Malone
The Mailman is a basketball legend. He might've been a man who loved simplicity, but in reality, he still did some questionable things in his youth. For example, as a 17-year-old he fathered twins, Daryl and Cheryl Ford, but claimed them as a father as late as 1998, only because he was threatened with a lawsuit by their mother. He refused to provide DNA samples to prove that he wasn't their father.
While this is all morally questionable, Malone has been married since 1990, long after these events, so... where's the cheating? Well, his past allows us to see what kind of an individual Malone is - one that flirted with his teammate's wife and probably wouldn't hesitate to take things further. He was brash enough to flirt with Vanessa Bryant and actually challenge Bryant to a fight if he was still mad about it. This shows that he's capable of doing the same stuff when no one's watching.
1 Magic Johnson
Magic and Cookie Johnson have been together since forever. The couple were finally married in 1991, but the happiness didn't last long as six weeks later, with Cookie pregnant with their son, Magic found out that he had HIV. This came as a shock to everybody around the world, but to no one more than Cookie, who fell to her knees after learning her husband cheated on her with, well, a lot of people. They had and on-again off-again relationship, so it's hard to asses how many of the 300-500 women annually Johnson reportedly was with when they were together.