Kobe Bryant retired at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season which ends the career of one of the league’s greatest players of all time. You can argue all you want about who is the greatest player in NBA history, and even if you do not think he is, Kobe Bryant is still one of the best, ever.
His beautiful wife Vanessa Bryant will also go down as one of the greatest, but in her own category, and that isn’t just being a wife to the Lakers legendary scorer.
The couple met in high school and have been together ever since. Kobe even got his first tattoo, a crown with her name and angel wings, for her. Her dedication to Kobe has turned her into one of the best mothers in sports, raising the couple’s two daughters, with a third on the way.
His retirement from the NBA does not mean we are never going to see him again, although why wouldn’t he spend the next five years just traveling the world and spending all of his millions of dollars he has earned over the past 20 years. But knowing he isn’t going to suit up anymore does decrease our chances of seeing Vanessa sitting court-side during Laker games.
In light of his retirement this past summer, we thought it would be a great time to release our Top 15 NBA Couple rankings for the upcoming season.
15. Derek Fisher and Gloria Govan
Gloria Govan has been around the NBA for the last ten years after she reunited with her high school sweetheart, Matt Barnes, when he signed with the Golden State Warriors in 2006, which brought him back to the Oakland area, where the two of them grew up in Santa Clara, California.
The couple started dating in 2006 before getting married in 2012. They have two children, a set of twins, and sadly got divorced in 2015. It did not take too long for Gloria to move on and in 2015, she began dating New York Knicks head coach Derek Fisher.
As a player, Derek was one of the NBA’s most dependable players and he has five NBA rings to prove it, all with the Los Angeles Lakers. This wasn’t easy for Matt Barnes and he allegedly drove 95 miles to confront Derek after hearing about their relationship, according to the New York Post.
Gloria Govan has become a celebrity, most notably from the reality tv show Basketball Wives LA, thanks to her NBA relationships and she even has a sister, Laura Govan that was once married to Gilbert Arenas.
14. J.R. and Jewel Smith
If you think you have heard everything, just wait until you read about J.R. Smith and his marriage to baby mama, Jewel Harris.
For two years, J.R. Smith dated Ashley Weatherspoon, according to the millions of photos posted on social media between the two of them. But in 2015, just two weeks after she posted a video of the two of them enjoying a summer vacation at the beach, J.R. Smith announced on his Instagram that he was getting married, to someone else.
For whatever the reason, the three-point shooting Cleveland guard decided to marry the mother of his daughter out of the blue. It is one of those moments that make you wonder about what exactly is going on around here.
13. Derrick Favors and Shivolli Da Silva
Over the past few seasons, Derrick Favors has become one of the NBA’s best power forwards after being traded from the New Jersey Nets to the Utah Jazz. It wouldn’t be until he moved into the beautiful mountains of Salt Lake City, Utah that he would become a star in the NBA.
As one of the NBA’s quietest players when it comes to his personal life, the details involving his relationship with Shivolli Da Silva are few and far between.
But thanks to the internet, we have found out some interesting facts about the couples relationship. Late last year, for example, we discovered that she gave birth to the couples first two children, a pair of twins. She even has her own production company called VolliProduction, LLC.
12. Chris and Jada Paul
Back in 2003, Jada Crawley was attending Wake Forest University when she met Chris Paul, the star basketball player for the Deamin’ Deacons. They dated for the next few years until they finally got married in 2011. They have a son, Chris Paul II, and daughter, Camryn Alexis Paul.
From the moment he entered the NBA, Jada has spent her time working with her husband to start charitable foundations, non-profits, and even worked with Chris to establish a scholarship for underprivileged high school athletes. Stand-up couple indeed.
Besides her career as a fashion designer, Jada has remained out of the spotlight for the majority of the couple’s relationship but has always been a fan favorite, from New Orleans to LA. And by all accounts will remain in a favourable light.
11. Scottie and Larsa Pippen
Scottie Pippen was the key to Michael Jordan’s success. He has even said it numerous times including, and most famously, during his Pro Basketball Hall of Fame speech. The normally soft spoken Hall of Fame NBA star has not only won six NBA championships, he has also landed one of the NBA’s hottest wives, ever.
Larsa Pippen is not your average beauty, she has brains too. The fitness freak graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in Political Science which led to her eventual admission into the Piven Theater Workshop, known as one of the best theater companies in America with alumni like John Cusack, Aidan Quinn, Kate Walsh, and Jeremy Piven.
But she wasn’t finished after she graduated and eventually married Scottie Pippen, had four children, started her own website about fitness, fashion, and beauty, and has become one of the biggest reality tv stars of the last few years.
10. Jason and Porschla Kidd
During the 1994-95 NBA season, a talented young point guard by the name of Jason Kidd arrived in Dallas and spent the next few years running their offense before heading to Phoenix, New Jersey, Dallas (again), and then finishing his career in New York in 2013.
Shortly before he retired, he started dating supermodel Porschla Coleman and the two were married in 2011. It did not take long before she moved away from the modeling life and into the family life.
Instead of traveling the globe from runway to runway, she has become the perfect mother and has even dedicated her life to helping others, specifically as the Executive Director of The Jason Kidd Foundation where she has been recognized all over America and was recently in the running for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Man & Woman of the Year” award.
9. Al and Amelia Vega Horford
Amelia Vega Horford was an international success long before she married the Boston Celtics Al Horford. Horford was a beauty queen long before becoming a basketball wife.
In 2003, she became the first Dominican woman to be crowned Miss Universe having already won Miss Dominican Republic the year before. Although she was well on her way to becoming a supermodel already, winning those competitions helped her to become the international success story much quicker. These victories would help pave the way to success in the industry.
Besides beauty pageants and magazine covers, Amelia is a talented singer and mother of one, soon to be two , children with her husband Al Horford. By all accounts, these two are living a happy little life together away from the hardwood court.
8. Shaquille O’Neal and Laticia Rolle
Shaquille O’Neal is larger than life. No pun intended. This man is huge and in case you never had the chance to meet him, Shaq is a 7’2, 325 pound beast that dominated the paint for almost 20 NBA seasons.
The four time NBA champion has been dating the beautiful model and actress Laticia Rolle for a few years now and earlier this year, proposed to her via Instagram. He might have been playing around with her, but in this day and age, the internet, more importantly social media, is a dangerous place to make jokes like that and not expect the media to run with it. Shaq should know full and well the dangers of joking on social media. However, Shaq does love having fun.
7. Doug and Jackie Christie
If you haven’t seen the VH1 reality show, Basketball Wives, by now, you are missing out on more drama then every episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians combined. Yeah, it gets that dramatic.
Jackie Christie is one of the show’s biggest stars and has provided some of the craziest drunk moments the show has ever seen. But she is also the longtime wife to retired NBA player Doug Christie.
The two have been married since 1996, something that is unheard of for NBA players these days. That much time together can’t be easy. In fact, it is probably harder than playing in the NBA. However, the pair have toughed it out and for the past twenty years and appear to be going strong to this day.
6. Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union
First off, let’s just get this out of the way. Gabrielle Union is the most beautiful NBA WAG of all-time. Her relationship with Dwyane Wade has lasted since 2009, much longer than anyone expected. Before she met Wade, Gabrielle dated Jason Kidd and was married to former NFL player Chris Howard for five years.
If you are still looking at her and you can’t figure out where you know her from, it was that annoyingly awesome cheerleader movie about spirit fingers, cheering, and terribly catchy chants, Bring It On.
The NBA is all about power and when it comes down to it, D-Wade and Gabby are quite possibly the hottest and most powerful duo in sports, not just the NBA. That’s right, we mean all across professional sports.
5. Kobe and Vanessa Bryant
Even though he is now officially retired, Kobe Bryant and his wife are still among the NBA’s top ranked couples because they have been together since 2001 when she was only 19 and he was 23 years young.
It wasn’t long after the two were married that the Lakers had brought in Utah’s Karl Malone to build a dynasty but it failed miserably when personal lives got in the way.
The drama surrounding the 2004-05 Lakers involved Karl Malone allegedly hitting on Vanessa Bryant and came on so strong that she even contacted his wife and asked her to keep him away. It did not take long for the friendship between Karl Malone and Kobe Bryant to grow hostile and eventually end the Laker Dynasty after just one season.
4. Stephen and Ayesha Curry
The NBA’s MVP over the past two seasons, Stephen Curry, has been married to Ayesha Curry, formerly Alexander, since 2011. The couple has two daughters, one of which everyone remembers from her post-game press conferences during the 2015 NBA playoffs.
The culinary expert and professional celebrity chef, Ayesha Curry, was born in Canada before moving to Charlotte, North Carolina were she grew up and met Stephen at their church youth group. From there, they became friends and eventually husband and wife. She has also done modeling and acting, among the million other things she has done in her career.
3. Carmelo and LaLa Anthony
Remember when MTV was more than just teenage drama series and Teen Mom? They used to have this show called Total Request Live (TRL) and the entire concept of the show was for viewers to call in and vote on the music video they wanted to watch that day. Carson Daly was the longtime VJ before a sexy young La La replaced him.
The former radio and television personality got engaged to Carmelo Anthony in 2004 and spent the next six years by his side before the two made it official and married in 2010. During their engagement, they had a son in 2007.
2. LeBron and Savannah James
Surprisingly, LeBron James and his wife, Savannah, are not the top NBA couple this year. The couple have been together since high school and got married in 2013.
LeBron James is the best overall player in the NBA today and has been since he arrived in 2003. He has had millions of dollars in endorsements, contracts, and movie gigs thrown his way for as long as he has been able to dribble a basketball and yet, he has remained true to his sweetheart Savannah, all this time. Sweet guy, right? Especially when you consider the lifestyles of other NBA stars.
1. Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss
There is no requirement that states that only players and coaches are allowed to be on our NBA couples list.
Phil Jackson, New York Knicks president, is engaged to Los Angeles Lakers co-owner Jeanie Buss and the two of them have been dating since 1999, when he was still coaching the Lakers and she was the executive VP of Business Operations.
As far as power goes, there isn’t another couple that could possibly have more power than the man that is the Knicks president and the owner of the Lakers daughter. Think about the connection between the two teams for a minute. New York and Los Angeles are the two biggest sports cities in America and this power couple links the two teams in ways that the NBA’s front office is even nervous about.
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