Basketball Wives: L.A: A primer for those who haven’t been watching

Well we knew it wouldn’t be long. The show we love to hate has cloned itself, and this time it’s infected the west coast. From the sick minds that brought you Basketball Wives: Original Recipe, let me introduce the Extra Crispy version. Basketball Wives: L.A. Let us pray.

As was the case on Original Recipe, cast members of Basketball Wives: L.A. don’t actually have to be married to an NBA player to be on the show. The only requirement is to have slept with and/or procreated with an NBA player. Preferably, multiple times.

We first meet Gloria Govan. The fiancé of Matt Barnes. They have two children together. You’ll remember Gloria was in the first installment of the series set in Miami. She didn’t really get along with most of the cast, namely the show’s executive producer, Shaunie O’Neal. Gloria’s sister Laura is rumored to have slept with Shaunie’s ex-husband, Shaquille O’Neal during their marriage. Gloria and Matt talk in their kitchen about mostly nothing. Gloria says there are some (expletive) starting girls in Miami and hopefully it won’t be like that in L.A. Oh there are, Glo. And they’re closer than you think.

Later, Gloria meets Imani Showalter for drinks. Imani is the ex-fiancee of Stephen Jackson. Then we meet the infamous Laura Govan, older sister of Gloria. Laura says that she had to move across the country to Los Angeles. In addition to being Shaq’s alleged mistress, Laura is also the on-again/off-again fiancee of former Washington Wizard, Gilbert Arenas. She’s also his four-time baby mama. Laura said she’s learned a life lesson. I hope it involved sex ed.

Next comes Mayasia Pargo, the wife of Jannero Pargo. Only one of the few actual wives on the show, Malaysia is also an entrepreneur. She says that she owns a “joo-ree” line for children. Gloria says in a separate interview, that Malaysia is coming off as bougie and too cool for school. Did she just hear that chick say “joo-ree?”

Then, we’re introduced to Kimsha Artest World Peace. Metta World Peace’s (formerly Ron Artest) “partner.” I’m not exactly sure what “partner” means, but I’ve been told that the two have divorced but still live with each other. I guess. Kimsha is from South Jamaica, Queens, New York. No one cares about that but her. Kimsha isn’t too fond of Los Angeles. In her words, “I don’t dig L.A. cuz these (expletive) is (expletive) bougie. I’m a New Yorker to the heart.”

Kimsha says the City of Angels is overrated for no reason. Well Mrs. World Peace, a fair amount of people would say the same thing about New York. And I would agree with them. Malaysia, who says she was born and raised in Los Angeles, asks Kimsha why she feels that way. Kimsha says people are full of it in L.A. Malaysia tells Kimsha there are superficial people everywhere. She’s right, but this conversation is so boring, I can’t care to write about it anymore.

As the evening comes to an end, Malaysia leaves quickly. The remaining women joke that that must be how they do it in Compton. I’m on team Malaysia on that one. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. No lingering around. Especially with people who are talking trash about your hometown while they’re sitting in your hometown. What’s left to talk about? Imani says Malaysia’s manner of departure was rude. Was it? I always thought an “alright y’all” would suffice and then I jump in my car. That’s probably why I have no friends.

Up next, is Tanya Williams, the estranged wife of Jayson Williams. Her husband is currently serving time for killing a limousine driver. Now I must say, Tanya is gorgeous. She’s got beautiful smooth skin and First Lady arms. But her fashion sense cancels all that out. Tanya’s wearing lipstick in that special shade of gold that only a woman from Baltimore could love. But in B’More’s defense, at least they do it to match their teeth. Tanya is matching that lipstick to her hair. And because she has dreadlocks, the color makes it appear that she’s got a bunch of sick kitty cat poops dangling from her head. Poor Tanya.

And then we meet Jackie Christie. Jackie is the wife of Doug Christie. They’ve been married for 17 years, and celebrate that marriage with a wedding every year. The Christies have a most unconventional marriage. During Doug’s tenure in the NBA, the couple’s unusual methods of keeping the basketball star faithful to Jackie drew headlines. Doug would avoid eye contact with other women. On road trips, Jackie would drive behind the team bus until Doug reached his hotel. Even certain female reporters were forbidden from interviewing Doug without Jackie being present. Jackie says she’s a passionate person and that she comes from struggle. Which is what? Following your husband around the country to keep the groupies away? Where were your three children during that time? Tanya said she enjoyed meeting everyone. They toast to something. I don’t care.

Gloria is taking acting classes. There’s only one other student in her class named Draya, a dead ringer for Maya Rudolph. The two read lines. They’re absolutely horrible. It sounds like Shakespeare in the Park performed by Mary J. Blige and Keyshia Cole. The acting teacher tells them to get together and rehearse. Why even go through this? We know these women already know each other. These rehearsed scenes are pointless.

The group meets at a bar to play poker. I can’t see the Original Recipe cast doing this. They seem way too uptight. Tanya has on a gigantic pair of earrings. They look like fan blades. She orders champagne. The other women think she’s being extra.

Jackie confesses to the group that her mother has liver cancer, a bad kidney and heart failure. Tanya can relate, because one day her daughter fell and broke her tooth. Malaysia interviewed that although Tanya is a nice lady, she wanted to tie her up and tape her mouth shut.

Commercials. A preview for the T.O. Show. This fool is still around? Ever since Tony Romo dumped him for Jessica Simpson, Terrell Owens has been on my last nerve. Retire already. Join Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin in the ‘Bama Hall of Fame.

Malaysia meets up with her sister, cousin and friends. And if there was ever a question of Malaysia’s bougie-ness, meet Ni-Ni. Malaysia’s cousin Anitra (Ni-Ni) is already my favorite cast member. Ni-Ni has, by my count, three hairdos on one head and is wearing a tight, likely Rainbow Plus, top that is none too forgiving on her voluptuous form. She tells Malaysia that if she runs into any problems, to give her a call. I totally believe her. Just from the 10 seconds she was on my television, I can tell Ni-Ni goes hard. She probably gets her checks cashed at the liquor store and has likely been a defendant on the Judge Mathis show at least once. Ni-Ni is that cousin to call when you think something’s about to jump off. She probably drives an ‘89 Crown Vic with no A/C and eats at least one square meal a day at the carry out. Everybody has at least one Ni-Ni in their family.

Gloria and Draya meet again. Draya says she just moved to Los Angeles two weeks ago. Gloria asks if she’s slept with anybody’s man. I think what Gloria wants to know is if Draya has slept with Matt. Draya says “I don’t” date every single athlete; I’ve had a million holler at me.” Vain much, Maya? Gloria said she likes Draya because she owns who she is. Which is what exactly? Gloria invites Draya to hang with the other girls for a game of paintball.

Malaysia and Kimsha have a producer manufactured meeting to shop for shoes. Kimsha says they don’t have her size. I hear ya, Mrs. World Peace. Big foot girls unite. Kimsha said she and Malaysia have nothing in common but that their husbands play basketball. Well that and that you both agreed to be on this stupid show.

The women meet up again. They alternate between talking trash about Malaysia and talking trash about Tanya until the two pariahs arrive. Malaysia says Tanya acts like everything is Guns and Roses. Unless Tanya is acting like she’s in a washed up metal band, I have no idea what that means. She certainly dresses like she is, but is that so offensive?

Jackie says she wants to know who Tanya is and that she has a 10 year old son at home so it’s important to her. Tanya says Jackie is all over the place. She totally is. What is this woman talking about? Jackie says ”well let’s bring it back...who the (expletive) are you?” I now see what female reporters interviewing Doug had to go through. Laura then joins the pile on. She asks Tanya why she feels the need to correct everyone. When Tanya attempts to answer, the women tell her to speak ghetto. And then they move to their next target.

Laura asks Malaysia if Malaysia is her real name. Malaysia says it’s her middle name but her first name is LaKeisha. Laura says that she knew Malaysia was a rat. How does being named LaKeisha make one a hoodrat? What exactly does sleeping with another woman’s husband and having multiple children by a man who refuses to marry you make you? Wait, put your hand down Angelina Jolie.Most of my friends have three syllable ethnic sounding names. My father collectively refers to them as Sha-Boom-Bam. But he has the excuse of being old and ignorant. Laura has no excuse.

Malaysia says “I’m not a rat. You’re the rat. I don’t (expletive) other people’s husbands.” This unleashes the beast. Laura goes off. Imani holds Malaysia back. Laura pushes Malaysia. Malaysia flips off her shoes and comes from around the table towards Laura. Jackie gets between them. And in the best moment in reality show history, amidst the melee, Tanya remains seated and texts on her phone. I swear, in that moment, I was almost praying that she was calling Ni-Ni and ‘nem. Meanwhile, Malaysia reaches around and steals Laura in the face. End Scene.

Well, what do you think? Which version of Basketball Wives do you like better? Miami or L.A.? Do you think Ni-Ni would give Tami a run for her money?

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