New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony remains one of the deadliest attackers in the NBA, having joined the league back in 2003 as part of the best draft class in recent history.
The former Syracuse star, drafted by the Denver Nuggets as the third overall pick that year, was joined by the likes of Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, all of whom have gone on to win championship rings.
Melo isn’t quite there yet, but at 32, there’s still hope – as long as he leaves New York.
A 10-time All-star, the player got engaged to Alani ‘La La’ Vasquez in 2004, and the pair tied the knot six years later after having a son together.
La La is a star in her own right. The 37-year-old (I would never have guessed) is a producer and actress, as well as a best-selling author, who featured in movies Think Like a Man and Think Like a Man Too.
She’s also appeared on Keeping Up With The Kardashians and 50 Cent’s hit series Power.
Like many other celebrity couples, Melo and La La live under the microscope. But here’s a list of 15 things you may not have known about the pair.
15 La La Doesn’t Mind Melo Going To The Strip Club
Well, let me just start this one by saying that the New York Knicks man is one lucky son of a...
Apparently, his wife is totally cool with him visiting strip joints. La La revealed as much to talk show host Andy Cohen while promoting The Love Playbook.
As much as she doesn’t mind the player bouncing around the club every now and again, she doesn’t want him to become a regular customer, as that has always been a recipe for disaster.
“I don’t want him to be a regular guest,” she explained. “Guys…that’s what they do. I don’t really have a problem with it.”
Well damn, Mrs Anthony. Doesn’t he get enough perks by just being Carmelo?
It doesn’t get much more unfair than that.
14 She Can Also Handle Groupies
When you make millions playing basketball, you can expect to be a huge attraction. As cool as it might be for you though, your partner might be quite uncomfortable.
That has always been the case with the baby-faced Anthony, at least since he joined the league. Fortunately, his spouse can handle his groupies; or so she claims.
“They always get too close. I just think that’s how some girls can be,” she told the above-mentioned Andy Cohen in an interview. “As long as it’s respectful, I can deal with it.”
She also doesn’t mind letting women know their place when they push too far, though.
“There’s a line of you going too far,” she continued. “I definitely let them know.”
Well to be fair, he does get enough freedom.
13 Melo May Or May Not Have A Love Child
Back in 2011, it was rumored that Anthony fathered a child out of his relationship with La La. It was also said that his then girlfriend let him know that she wasn’t willing to be his girlfriend anymore and gave him the option of leaving or marrying her.
Well, we all know how that turned out. But as for the love child, there has never been any proof of such.
Quizzed over the rumors on a New York radio show, La La did not confirm or deny the existence of a baby outside of their relationship, but did say how things would be if she found out about one.
“First of all, what kind of woman would it make me to say ‘hide your kid’? That’s just unbelievable, I would never do that,” she explained.
“I don’t know if I would still be here right now if there was a secret baby. It would be a whole different story. You wouldn’t see me smiling and having a good time right now.”
12 DJ Clue Hooked Them Up
Carmelo and La La owe their relationship to DJ Clue. The producer has probably hooked thousands of people up through his music, but he personally introduced the parties to each other, although La La says she was against it.
“A mutual friend of ours, DJ Clue, who I was actually doing a television show with, was like, ‘I want to introduce you to Carmelo Anthony, this basketball player’,” she revealed on the Arsenio Hall show. “As soon as I heard the word ‘basketball player’ I was like, ‘Absolutely not! I do not want to meet a basketball player.”
Well, she met him anyway, and guess what: they’re married now.
As to what made her let go of her bad perception regarding athletes, she probably has no clue.
11 La La Denies Garnett Rumors
As it turns out, La La doesn’t taste like Honey Nut Cheerios, or any other breakfast cereal for that matter – that would just be weird - lovely… but weird.
Most of us may have already guessed that, but according to Melo’s wife, if she ever did taste like Cheerios, Kevin Garnett wouldn’t know it.
Garnet and Anthony were involved in a bit of a back and forth some years ago because the former Celtics big man reportedly told his counterpart that his wife tasted like Cheerios. However, writing in her book, La La revealed that Garnett never said those words.
“Kevin Garnett in fact had never said that I tasted like Honey Nut Cheerios,” she wrote in The Love Playbook. “I tried to figure out how this big lie was turned into a media firestorm.
“I still can’t answer that one. Melo and Kevin are cool today. And now it’s nothing but a faint.”
10 La La Is All About That Spontaneous Love
Some couples like planned lovemaking and some don’t. La La, for one, definitely isn’t into that boring old calendar love.
“I love sex,” she said in a candid interview. “I think it’s very important. If you guys are compatible on an emotional level, I think the sex will be just magnetic and great.”
“One thing with sex with me is, I’m not into scheduling sex,” said Anthony. “I’m not into that. I don’t think that’s sexy. I like being spontaneous and things just happening, and you’re like ‘whoa!’”
We don’t know Melo’s take, and not that we care to, but it’s safe to assume that he’s used to the spontaneity by now. It also seems like he has quite the appetite to deal with in the bedroom.
9 She Isn’t Worried About Him Cheating
Women do have a reputation for being insecure and somewhat possessive, yet La La has said that she’s not at all worried about getting cheated on; her reason being she’s immensely confident in herself.
She also described the player as her best friend, whom she shares a great relationship with. She’d rather focus all of her energy on their relationship than use it to worry about him stepping out on the marriage.
“I’m just very secure in myself,” she said to talk show host Bethenny Frankel.
“You know, I can’t worry about what’s happening on the road. I know our relationship. I know we have a great relationship; he’s my best friend. And, that’s what I focus my energy on.
“If we think too much about what’s going on when we’re not there and checking phones and cracking email codes, like, that will drive a woman crazy. You have to be secure in yourself.”
8 But All Hell Will Break Loose If She Finds Out He Is
While she might not be worried about Carmelo cheating, La La claims that she won’t take it easy on the star if she ever finds out that he’s practicing infidelity.
In essence, she’s totally okay with the forward’s philandering as long as he doesn’t let her find out.
While being interviewed by Angela Yee and The Breakfast Club four years ago, La La admitted that she’s cool with Melo cheating discreetly, but also revealed that things would take a pretty wild turn if it ever came to the fore.
“If he’s doing it discretely, do a good job,” she declared. “Cause when I find out all hell is gone break loose!”
Strong words, but how about not letting him go to strip clubs then!?
7 Melo Probably Isn’t The Bravest One In The Relationship
Melo is shockingly afraid of cats. Yes, those furry, cuddly, feline things found in plenty of households.
To be fair, they could be quite intimidating, yet you wouldn’t expect a commanding presence such as Carmelo to possess a healthy fear of such a small creature that’s relatively harmless. The player revealed as much during a Q&A session at one of Facebook’s New York office two years ago.
“A cat,” was his blunt reply when asked which animal he was most afraid of. And for someone who’s married to a woman who claims to love sex, it leaves one to wonder if he may need a little convincing from time to time.
It must have been embarrassing to admit, but it’s probably more embarrassing for La La. Just imagine being married to a tall dude who’s afraid of cats.
6 La La Has A Say In Where Her Husband Plays
La La obviously plays a big role in her husband’s life, and the team on which he ends up is part of her decision.
It was widely thought that Anthony would leave the New York Knicks earlier this year, but he stayed put, and will end the season at the Madison Square Garden.
It had to be a huge decision for the player and his wife, who revealed to TMZ that she had a say in his transfer affairs.
“Do you have any say in the decision?” she was asked, before replying “Of course.”
She was further probed over the matter, but didn’t reveal anything more. We all know what that decision was by now, though.
LeBron James probably has her to blame for his pal not joining him in Cleveland.
5 They’re Both Of Puerto Rican Descent
Well most of you may have already figured out that La La had some Spanish in her; her maiden name is Vasquez after all. But as it so happens, Carmelo’s roots go back to Puerto Rico, much like those of his wife.
La La was born to Puerto Rican parents who were raised in New York, and refers to herself as Afro-Puerto Rican, although the correct term is Nuyorican, which in itself is quite amazing.
They have words for everything nowadays.
Melo, meanwhile, was born to a Puerto Rican father who passed away through cancer when he was just two. Named Carmelo Iriate, the player’s deceased dad was a member of the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican group that fought for social justice back in the 60’s and 70’s.
4 They May or May Not Own A Camel
For someone who’s scared of cats, you would think Carmelo would try staying away from bigger animals, but he claims to own a camel… because he’s rich (he didn't say that was why).
“Everybody got dogs and cats as pets, I got a camel!” he tweeted in 2011. He certainly seemed excited about it, yet what good is a camel when you live in the United States? It’s probably the most boring pet in the world to have – especially when compared to cats.
What does one even do with a camel? What does it eat? Beats me why anyone would want to own a camel out of the Middle East.
But then again, it was probably La La’s idea. She does love her a good hump.
3 La La Is No ‘Basketball Wife’
While most women married to NBA players are content to carry the label WAG or Basketball Wife, La La isn’t so hot over it. After all, she does have her own thing going on.
Basketball wives are so much of a thing, there’s a show called Basketball Wives, a show Mrs Anthony declined an offer to appear on.
“A lot of times with basketball players, their wives, and I’m not criticizing, but their life is just about the man,” she once said in an Interview. “What time is he getting home, why hasn’t he called me?”
“But I’m so much more than that. I’m a mom, I’m an actress, I’m a producer. Like, out of all that, I don’t want to just be called a basketball wife.”
Seems fair, does it not?
2 They Aspire To Be Like Will and Jada Smith
Everyone has role models, even role models. For Mr and Mrs Anthony, they’re Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, according to La La, who revealed as much in a sit-down with a popular news source.
Asked which famous couple she and Melo aspired to be like, she replied: “I love Will Smith and Jada Pinkett.
“You see the love, and you can see the support, and they partner on things and produce together. But she has a life, and he has a life.”
Melo, for one, has quite a ways to go to match big Will. He may be one of the most talented basketball players to ever grace the NBA, yet that’s nothing compared to fighting aliens alongside Tommy Lee Jones.
1 She Thinks His Initial Approach Was Lame
As mentioned earlier, the couple were introduced to each other by DJ Clue, but Melo’s first impression wasn’t all that impressive. Thankfully, he got the gal anyway.
La La has since revealed that the player sent a bottle of Moet & Chandon over to her table, a move she thought to be quite lame.
“I thought it was so lame,” she said during an interview. “He was like, ‘What are you doing after the club?’ I’m like: ‘After the club? It’s 2 a.m. I’m going home. What are you doing after the club?’”
Well, whatever happened after the club is really nobody’s business, but whatever it was worked like a charm for the champagne-sending scaredy cat. I wonder what he had to do to make her forget that first impression.