The life of a professional athletes must be difficult. Aside from training for hours on end, you have to make tough choices like 'What should I do with all my money?' and 'What lovely lady am I going to bring home tonight?" You know, the important decisions in life.
In all seriousness though, these "players" spend most of the day with their teammates, having little time to spend with anyone outside of the organization, which includes their families. These brothers in arms become a surrogate family, airing out their dirty laundry with each other on long flights, gaining each other's trust over years of respect.
Sometimes though, athletes get a little "too close" to their teammates' lives, which can bleed through to their significant others. It's about as big a bond as you can break, as being a team is all about trusting each other. If that trust is broken to the point that a teammate would throw a wrench in a marriage, or serious relationship, how are you ever supposed to trust that teammate again? Today, we will lay out the juicy allegations, and in some cases, admitted truths, of 20 athletes who got 'too close' to their teammates wives.
20 Malone’s Flirting Goes Too Far
"The Mailman" always delivers, even when it comes to the WAG of the "Black Mamba." At the tail-end of his HOF career, Malone traded in the purple and white for purple and gold, hoping to win a championship down in L.A. The 14-time NBA All-Star came up short, losing to the Pistons in the 2004 NBA Finals, and finishing his NBA run ring-less.
During his time with the Lakers, Malone got to know his teammates, and even began creeping on Kobe's wife, Vanessa Bryant. While no physical relationship was ever reported, "The Mailman" delivered some flirtatious messages to Vanessa. According to Malone's agent, Dwight Manley Mrs. Bryant asked:
"Hey, cowboy, what are you hunting?" in reference to Malone wearing a cowboy hat and boots.
"She said it twice," Manley said, "and Karl answered, 'I'm hunting for little Mexican girls.' "
Definitely, definitely, too close!
19 Golden Tate’s Quarterback Connection
The connection between Russell Wilson and Golden Tate was electric back in Seattle. The receiver had a breakout season in 2013, and was an integral part to the Seahawks dominant win over the Broncos that year. Suddenly though, Tate exited Seattle in free agency, and chose Detroit to continue his career. Why didn't the Seahawks offer him a deal after his Pro Bowl season?
Well, rumors swirled when Wilson divorced from his then-wife, Ashton Meem, in 2014. Some reporters stated that Tate was sleeping with Meem during the season, and when Wilson found out, he filed for divorce. Both parties deny the allegations and Tate has even gone to writing an entire essay proclaiming his innocence. Nowadays, each player is doing great, as Tate is playing lights out in Detroit, and Wilson is married to Ciara.
18 Bynum Dips His Pen In Company Ink
Although he did make an All-Star team, Bynum had a disappointing career fueled by knee injuries and weight issues. After his time in L.A., the big man bounced from Cleveland to Indiana, and was out of the NBA by 2014. He will always go down as a prima donna with an attitude of a 13-year-old. That's probably why he decided to score with his coach's wife.
That's right, rumors have it that Andrew Bynum was getting "too close" to the wife of then assistant coach of the Cavaliers, Jamahl Mosley. The Cavaliers organization decided to suspend Bynum for "conduct detrimental to the team," but we all know what really went down. Mosley is now an assistant with the Mavericks, and Bynum is probably sitting at home lamenting on his mediocre career.
17 Kournikova Plays Doubles
Before she was making love in a bathroom in an Enrique Iglesias music video, Russian tennis sensation, Anna Kournikova, was apparently playing doubles with the Russian national hockey team. While many of the details remain behind closed doors, Bure reportedly was Anna's "first" and he stated the couple was engaged in 2000, after the paparazzi caught them together at a Miami restaurant the night he proposed.
Neither party would confirm the engagement, but things got a little hazier when the story came out that Kournikova was also engaged, and married, to Bure's teammate, Sergei Federov, around the same time. The former Red Wings center confirmed their marriage in a hockey magazine. "They are true," he declared. "We were married, albeit briefly, and we are now divorced." While it's unclear if either of these relationships overlapped, the silence from everyone involved is deafening!
16 Prince Dethrones Garcia
There was trouble in Detroit back in 2009. With stars like Miguel Cabrera and recently-signed Prince Fielder, the Tigers were looking to take home the title. There was one hitch in their plan though: young prospect Avisail Garcia. It wasn't his issues on the diamond that caused the rift in the locker room either! Garcia was trying to dethrone the Prince, having an affair with his wife that lasted for months!
All-Star, Miguel Cabrera, found out about the affair before Fielder did. Being the stand-up teammate that he his, Cabrera confronted Garcia in the locker room about his scandalous actions. A fight soon broke out between Fielder and Garcia, and when Cabrera tried to intervene, he re-aggravated an existing injury! Detroit traded Garcia shortly after the ordeal, and it was all because he got "too close" to Fielder's wife.
15 Murray Forgets The Bro Code's No.1 Rule
Murray has had his ups and downs in the NFL, but it was a collegiate teammate's wife that made him number ten our list. According to former Oklahoma Sooner running back, Brennan Clay, found "more than 50 inappropriate messages between D’Agostini [his wife] and Murray on her old cell phones, as well as graphic pictures he believed they sent each other over an undetermined period of time."
Clay filed for divorce once he found out after about the affair, and took to Twitter to express his resentment.
While Murray has denied the allegations, we are pretty sure there is truth to Clay's call out. Haters will say it's hidden jealousy of Murray's success and Clay's lack of an NFL career, but don't fall into that trap!
14 The Terrys Prove Cheating Runs In The Family
The Terry brothers! Well, actually brothers-in-law.We'll start off with Paul, the less successful Terry. On the lower levels of English soccer, Paul wasn't spending his time furthering his career. Instead, he was getting busy with Lindsey Cowen, fiancee of his goalkeeper, Dale Roberts. But this story gets dark, quick. Once the affair was made public, Roberts took his own life, not wanting to face the public shame of being a cuckold. Be careful who you mess around with fellas.
On a different note, we move on to the more famous, John Terry. The Chelsea captain was cheating on his own wife with his teammate's girlfriend, French underwear model, Vanessa Perroncel. The teammate, Wayne Bridge, was later sold to Man City, since there was too much tension on the pitch. When the two teams later faced off, Bridge snubbed Terry of a pre-game handshake, but that was all the "revenge" that was sought.
13 Tony Parker Is A Team Player
The "Parisian Torpedo" was in some deep water in 2010, when he allegedly had an affair with Erin Barry, wife of Spurs' teammate, Brent Barry. After Parker's then-wife, drop-dead gorgeous actress, Eva Longoria, filed for divorce, she sat down with Mario Lopez to dish out the details. The four-time NBA Champion was exchanging some NSFW texts with his teammate's wife and the Desperate Housewives star found out because he forget to close out of his password protected laptop!
While Parker denies there was anything going on, the Barry's also divorced one month prior, adding fuel to the flames. Many sources corroborated Parker's claims that he physically abstained from a relationship with Mrs. Barry, but scandalous texts still qualify him for getting "too close" to his teammate's wife!
12 Steve Nash’s Baby Mama Drama
The 2010-11 season was an odd one for two-time NBA MVP, Steve Nash. In the beginning of the season, his then-wife, Alejandra Amarilla, had given birth to their third child, Mateo. But, in a shocking twist, Nash announced that the birth was "bittersweet," as he and Amarilla had been separated, eventually leading to their divorce.
Rumors buzzed that Amarilla had cheated on Nash with one his teammates, and that the baby came out bi-racial! People have said that Nash immediately walked out of the delivery room. At first, they thought Brazilian-born forward, Leandro Barbosa was the father, but then all signs pointed to Jason Richardson, as he was traded by Phoenix a month later.
Whether the rumors are true or not is still up for debate, but there is something very fishy about the situation. From the photos though, it looks like Mateo is indeed Nash's child.
11 USMNT Scandal
The USA Men's Soccer team has never been elite on the world stage, but at least their off the field issues are worth watching. While qualifying for the 1998 World Cup, USMNT coach, Steve Sampson, named John Harkes, "Captain for Life." Mysteriously, right before the tournament, Harkes was left off the final roster citing "leadership issues," but could they're have been a darker logic to his sudden dismissal?
Well, of course! Amy Wynalda, wife of USMNT forward Eric Wynalda, was getting busy on the side with Harkes. At first, all parties denied the rumors, but years later, Amy confirmed the affair to be true. In 2010, Steve Sampson came out and said the affair was the reason behind Harkes' release from the squad 12 years earlier. On and off the field, the USMNT was, and still is, a dumpster fire!
10 Derek Fisher Steals Govan From Matt Barnes
Barnes and Fisher were teammates back in LA, but nothing happened during their playing days. In 2015, while Fisher was retired and Barnes was a member of the Memphis Grizzlies, Fisher was moving in on Barnes' ex-wife, Gloria Govan. Rumor has it that Barnes was minding his own business at training camp, but got word from his twin sons that Fisher was hanging out at his house with Govan. That's when all hell broke loose.
According to the New York Post, Barnes hopped in the whip and drove 95 miles to beat him up
"A fight erupted at 11:45 p.m. between the 235-pound Barnes and the 6-1, 200-pound Fisher. Cops were called, but Fisher left before they arrived, the sources said."
No one was injured, and even though Barnes and Govan were divorced, the relationship didn't fly in his book. Last we know, Fisher is still with Gloria, and I'm sure Barnes is still livid about it.
9 Oiler? I Hardly Knew Her
We move north of the border for our next "too close" moment. Oilers center, Mike Comrie, was on thin ice during the 2003-04 season. Apparently, he was getting a little something on the side from wife of his goaltender Tommy Salo. From the rumors, Comrie made his way through Salo's wife's five-hole. Both parties passionately deny the affair, but then what explains the Swedish goalie's sudden trade at the end of the season?
The story got so much press, that Comrie had to make a statement: “I should have said something right away. I didn’t think it would have the legs it did. Everyone thinks it happened but it’s the most ridiculous rumor. It’s not true." Damn, we were hoping he admitted to the fling. That would have been the 'icing' on the cake.
8 PG-13 Goes Rated R
PG-13 has been the subject of talks since he was traded to OKC over the summer. Now, with free agency looming, and a previously expressed desire to play in L.A., George will continue to be a daily headline come the offseason. But this isn't a list about players on the court, it's a list about "players" off of it.
Rumors swirled back in Indiana that George was having an affair with Valerie Cooke, wife of fellow Pacer, Roy Hibbert. The whole ordeal even prompted a fist fight in practice between other teammates, Lance Stephenson and Evan Turner. Like all of the other scandals, both parties have denied the allegations, but this wouldn't be George's first juicy "escapade'. When he was dating Doc Rivers' daughter, PG-13 allegedly impregnated a Miami exotic dancer.
7 Shanahan Makes Janney Sing The Blues
Being a Hall of Famer on the ice doesn't mean you will be a great teammate! Instead of bonding with the fellas, former St. Louis Blue winger, Brendan Shanahan, was too busy getting some with the wife of his teammate, Craig Janney. But, it's not your typical "too close" story!
The fling between bros wasn't just a one time deal. Janney and his wife, Catherine, were on the outs in the 1994-95 season. Whether Shanahan swooped in before, or after the divorce is up for question. Either way, Catherine and Brendan ended up being happily married.
Unfortunately for Shanahan, his Hall of Fame induction may have been delayed by his affair. Some voters thought that his lack of family values was unworthy of the prestige that the Hall of Fame exudes. But, Shanahan's shrine in Toronto was only postponed one year.
6 More Lakers Drama
'You've got to be kidding me! Three Lakers on this list?' Yup, call it a three-cheat if you will. In the 2010-11 campaign, the Lakers were hoping to three-peat their way into the record books. But, dismal play in the postseason plagued the Lakers, and they were ousted by the Dallas Mavericks. So, why did these juggernauts fall so flat?
According to many, Pau Gasol's poor play had stemmed from a personal issue with his fiancee, Silvia Lopez Castro; his teammate, Shannon Brown, was having an affair with her! Obviously, all parties deny the rumor, but Brown went on social media to proclaim his innocence, tweeting “I DID NOT SLEEP WITH @paugasol woman!!! First and last time addressing it!” Remember man, who ever denies it, supplies it!
5 Joe Horn Creeps on Mrs. Roaf
The Saints four-time Pro Bowl receiver, Joe Horn, is no stranger to controversy in the media. He was flagged for excessive celebration on Sunday Night Football in 2003 for whipping out a cellphone from under the goal post, a stunt which cost him $30,000 in fines. While he his diva attitude was often scrutinized, Horn's popularity was a big part in the Saints' resurrection in the beginning of the millennium.
But, Horn flirted with disaster when he got "too close" to Willie Roaf's wife. Not only did they allegedly sleep together, but Horn was rumored to be the father of Roaf's six-week old child! Both parties have vehemently denied the accusations. Horn addressed the issue in an interview with ESPN, stating "We make mistakes sometimes, but that is one mistake Joe Horn did not make. I did not sleep with Willie Roaf's wife.
4 Manning Steals More Than Bases
If they made Lifetime movies about baseball, Dennis Eckersley tragic-tale would be prime-time television drama! The future Hall of Fame pitcher's career got off to a rocky start off the diamond. In a span of a few days in 1978, "Eck" found out he was being traded to the Red Sox, his wife divorced him stating she no longer loved him, and he found out that she was sleeping with his best friend and teammate, Ricky Manning!
Manning injured his back during the previous season, and did not travel with the rest of the Indians. While "comforting" him, Denise Eckersley developed a relationship with the Gold Glove Winner, and left Dennis in the dirt. While the whole situation is a little messed up, Eckersley went on to have a historic career, and Rick and Denise ended getting married, then divorced. Who got the better side of the deal on that one?
3 Ryan Sandberg’s Wife Supports Every Team
An MLB clubhouse is tight-knit place, normally full of brotherhood, but that wasn't the case for Ryne Sandberg. Allegedly, Sandberg's wife, Cindy, had been thrown around the diamond a few times. Notorious ladies man, Rafael Palmeiro, was rumored to have been knocking boots with Mrs. Sandberg during his time in Chicago. When management found out, they shipped Palmeiro off to the Rangers.
In the same year, it was reported that another Cubs player, Dave Martinez, was also having an intimate affair with Sandberg's wife. He received the same fate as Palmeiro, and was shipped off to Montreal later in the year. While the stories have never been made mainstream, and remained unconfirmed, Cindy has allegedly been with several players and coaches in the organization. The couple has since been divorced, and we can't help but think that Cindy's lechery was the culprit.
2 Aussies Play By A Different Set Of Rules
With the targeting rules in the NFL slowly being regulated, fans that enjoyed the hard-hitting game may want to turn to the AFL, or 'Aussie Rules' as it's widely-called. A combination of rugby, soccer, and American football, these athletes lay down some of the craziest hits in sports! They are famous in Australia, and sometimes, their celeb status get's to their head.
Take AFL All-star, center half-forward, Wayne Carey, for example. Towards the end of his career, in 2002, whilst attending a party at a teammates house, Carey was caught with the wife of Anthony Stevens, his teammate and best friend. Apparently, Kelli Stevens followed Carey into the bathroom, and put the moves on him. An argument ensued afterwards when party-goers caught word of the fling, and Carey fled off to Las Vegas to hide from the media. While his storied career continued for a couple years after the incident, there is no doubt that his reputation was tarnished.
1 Bringing New Meaning To ‘Yankee Swap’
Our top "too close" to a teammate's wife story is surely bizarre. Back in 1973, Yankees teammates Fritz Peterson and Mike Kesich held separate press conferences announcing they would be switching lives! Peterson was in a relationship with Kesich's wife, and vice versa. And it wasn't just the wives! The teammates also traded children - and even the dogs! A truly odd situation for everyone involved. The craziest thing is that everyone was happy about it! It was a mutual wife swap!
Over 40 years later, Peterson says he his only regret is that his teammate and ex-wife never worked out. But, decades later, he's still going strong. “Actually, it was a husband trade — Mike for me or me for Mike,’’ Peterson recalled. “It’s a love story. It wasn’t anything dirty."
The whole exchange is one for the record books, proving anything is possible. Maybe I can convince Tom Brady to "trade"?
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