Originally written on Player Perspective  |  Last updated 11/18/14

I’m sure this NYmag article didn’t mean to make NBA wives sound like superficial image obsessed over-spenders but it did. I think the article was supposed to be about the importance of being fashionable when you’re married to a star and how people pay attention to that kind of thing. But it somewhat when off the rails of that topic–which is fine by me cause that made it much juicier.

The article starts off by talking about how New York Knicks Tyson Chandler heard his wife jabbering about wanting to be treated to the kind of shopping spree Julia Roberts was treated to in Pretty Woman. So Chandler decided to give his wife film hooker experience of her dreams. I couldn’t make this up. My question was…why couldn’t see have done this with her husband’s money forever ago? Seems awkward.

Then they went on to talk about how Amar’e Stoudamire proposed to his fiancee with a HUGE diamond ring only after gallivanting around on red carpets with r&b “singer” Ciara (yes they mentioned Ciara!). They also mention the photos of the engagement and trip to Paris that Stoudamire shared on social media. Since then Stoudamire has made his best effort to show that his relationship still exists including moving her and his children to New York something that probably should have happened forever ago and attending various playoff games dressed like Aaron Neville.

Then the story switches to an interview with Vanessa Bryant who addresses the fashion topic and then leaves it in the dust.  Bryant always gives the juice. Here’s some of what she had to say:

[To read Vanessa Bryant's awesome comments and to read what I think about couples marketing themselves click Read More]

Bryant hesitates when asked too many questions about fashion, though. “I think people imagine that I sit at home with all the time in the world to do my hair and makeup, but that’s certainly not the case,” she says. “I’m up at 6:30 in the morning with my kids. I’m taking them wherever they need to go.” She doesn’t use a nanny—“That’s the way I was raised”—and says that she has never missed a sports game or practice of her daughters, 6 and 9. This afternoon, she’s checking on the portable nebulizer her daughter uses for her asthma to take overseas. The medicines that doctors push for asthmatics make her uncomfortable, and she’s interested in starting a foundation for alternative treatments. “I’m not sure where she got asthma from, but I’m really careful,” she says. “When their dad’s over and he sprays deodorant, I ask him to go into another room. My youngest daughter has allergies to olive trees. We had twelve olive trees on this property, and after we took her to an allergist, I had them excavated.”

When we start talking about the rumors that have gone around about Bryant, like that she and Khloé Kardashian have almost come to blows, she waves a hand. “Everything is false,” she says. “Khloé was at my 29th birthday. I don’t get involved in the drama. I’ve been with Kobe since I was 17, so I’ve seen plenty of players, and plenty of wives, come and go. It wouldn’t benefit me whatsoever to have an issue with any of them, whether they were a girlfriend, or a wife, a person-of-a-month, or … you know. And I think that’s why the Lakers as an organization give me the access that I have, that other wives don’t have.” She talks about the tunnel on the way to the locker room that she stands in to give Kobe a kiss after games, the one that cameras always pan to. “If you notice, I am the only one allowed in that tunnel,” says Bryant. “I don’t like standing outside and giving him a kiss in front of all the cameras. So I stand in there to get away from them. But then the cameras end up following. And if the girls are there, sometimes, that’s their kiss good night for Daddy, and when he comes home, they’re asleep.”

 So basically Vanessa Bryant is better than you in every way–she takes care of her own kids, makes sure their dad doesn’t set off an asthma attack and kill one of them, and gets access that all the other lowly wives and insignificant others don’t get cause really, who are they anyway? I know she didn’t mean to come off so high and mighty but this is how you talk when you get with a bajillionaire at 17. Most of what this article made me think of is how pressed people (not Vanessa Bryant) are to flaunt relationships as away of marketing themselves. I blame some of this on Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. People saw two gorgeous, talented people get together and get a lot of attention for it and suddenly everyone wants to be recognized for their coupledom. Once the Obamas came on the scene the obsession with being a power couple or somehow promoting couplehood really got out of control. Yes, if you’re married to a high profile person some attention will be paid and sports news has become increasingly gossipy (think: Ryan Tannehill’s wife and her blonde hair and tan)-but let’s be honest nowadays athletes and their partners aggressively promote photos from their weddings and engagements and child births in some of the most gratuitous manners ever. Of course, Bryant prides herself on not doing this and for that she gets a high five. Overall, I’m a live and let live girl but I peep game when I see it. Relationships have become another method by which people come up, and I’m not talking about gold digging, I’m talking about anyone who wants attention even regular folks. I keep hearing friends and associates talk about their desire to be a “power couple” like the Obamas. Again, I can’t make this up. The most egregious example of this is all the folks who now want their weddings profiled — Carmelo and Lala (who are mentioned in the article as essentially branding their partnership) Kim and Kroy Biermann, and until the police got involved, Evelyn and Chad Ochocinco Johnson. Ironically, when the relationships are over they always ask for privacy. How convenient! Lastly, I always cringe (rightfully or not) when I read stories about athletes who consistently spend high dollar on image accessories because I just keep thinking about the possibility of future reports of them going broke.
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