The NBA's State of the Marriage Union

Over the weekend, an interesting comment arrived on a post about the divorce of Jason and Joumana Kidd. It's from an anonymous person purporting to be the ex-wife of an NBA player--a claim that I wouldn't normally be inclined to believe, except that it seems to be that if you were going to pose as the ex-wife of an NBA player, your story would be juicier, or faker, or more trumped up.

My best guess is that this is real:

Joumana has been causing Jason trouble for years and she has been really kidding herself (no pun intended) trying to be first in his life.

As the ex-wife of an NBA "star", I can say that it is hard to start out with your man in college and watch him grow to a great success and leave you behind. If a woman thinks she is going to marry an NBA talent and be the first thing on her hubby's list, then she is delusional! His agent and team are WAY above you on his priority list and sadly that's the way it has to be to make it in the league. There are those that have successful marriages but it's because there is an initial understanding that the wife / kids are not number one ... even in the off season.

My advice to Joumana: grow up and get out quietly. Invest your money wisely as I did and you will live in comfort the rest of your life. You can find a man that isn't in the limelight 24/7 and just move on. I can guarantee you Jason will!

I e-mailed the commenter, and her response included the following:

I would just like to add that women (especially YOUNG women) who seek a lifestyle with a star athlete that they enter it with eyes wide open. NOTHING comes for free, everything has a price. Yes, you get to brag about marrying a star but your identity is lost in the shuffle. It's a hard life when you're number one to no one.

I understand that there are immense pressures on celebrity marriages, and for various reasons few of them work out. Some of the pressures, I'm certain, include: a career that comes first, an insane amount of travel and time apart, near-riots of insanely hot young women who want to sleep with the players, and the pressures of an economic reality where a basketball off-day spent with the family and not marketing can mean five or six digits of lost income.

I can't find it for some reason, but I swear on TrueHoop a year or so ago I quoted an article in which an anonymous NBA agent asked a player who was about to be drafted if he had a girlfriend. The player said yes, and the agent responded with something like "well, that's all over."

But I guess I had always assumed a fair portion of NBA marriages (as husbands, you hear positive things about Tim Duncan, Eric Snow, Grant Hill, Raja Bell and others) manage to be strong nonetheless. This account makes it seem like real partnership is non-existent, and the whole institution of NBA marriage is more or less a sham.