Are you looking for a series filled with reality show level drama, sex, murder, friendship, and unexpected twists to keep you glued to your couch? If so, BET’s latest drama Games People Play is the perfect addition to your TV schedule. The series, which is based on a 2014 novel of the same name by Glamour Magazine’s Deputy Editor Angela Burt-Murray, stars Lauren London as a basketball wife who is trying to keep her family intact. Vanessa King isn’t based on a real person, but the character’s story is likely inspired by the women who are married to top-tier athletes.
Games People Play made its debut back on April 23 and fans are already completely enthralled with Vanessa’s story. From an outside perspective, she’s living a glamorous life in a gorgeous Los Angeles mansion home with Marques, who was recently selected to play for the Los Angeles Vipers, and their toddler daughter. Vanessa has access to designer clothes, in-home massages, a loyal best friend, and millions of dollars, but in reality, she’s stressed out and unhappy due to Marques’ incessant cheating and her own regrets over giving up her career to support her man.
And, she can't seem to find her place among other Viper wives who are surely up to shady activities. To further complicate things, the Kings find themselves in the middle of a police investigation that threatens to destroy their lives. It’s just as messy as the Basketball Wives or Real Housewives episode with an emotional undercurrent that will pull fans in and make them want to root for Vanessa’s happiness.
Lauren London has understandably been away from the spotlight after the recent passing of her partner Nipsey Hussle, but she did speak further about her character in a Games People Play promotional clip. “I think that she’s lost a sense of her independence,” said London. “I think she has genuine love for Marques. I think that she really, really loves him because she sacrificed so much of herself for the relationship. And I don’t think Marques has done that for Vanessa.” London described the series as “dramatic” with intense storylines for Vanessa, Marques, and the other main characters who are tied to their lives.
There may not be a lot of stories about married sports couples being involved in a possible murder plot, but there are plenty of examples of unfaithful sports husbands. The Daily Beast reported that basketball star Kobe Bryant caused a media frenzy back in 2003 when a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her in a hotel room. He countered her accusation by saying they had consensual sex, which was still a major violation considering that his wife Vanessa had just given birth to their oldest daughter months prior to the incident.
The case against Bryant was eventually dropped and, according to PEOPLE, Kobe purchased his wife a $4 million-dollar makeup ring. The aforementioned Daily Beast article revealed that Vanessa filed for divorce in 2011 after Kobe had continue to allegedly cheat for years, however, they have reconciled and are now expecting their fourth child together per photos on Kobe's IG page.
Baller Daniel Gibson’s infidelity was put on full blast by his singer wife Keyshia Cole who said he cheated on her multiple times, per Hollywood Life. And, who can possibly forget how Michael Jordan’s ex-wife Juanita divorced her husband after years of alleged infidelity and, as PEOPLE reported, took $168 million dollars with her (which seems more than fair, tbh)? At this point, it’s almost a surprise to hear about solid relationships like Steph and Ayesha Curry, who have been together with no cheating scandals during their nearly 8-year long marriage.
When you add up those examples along with many other cheating rumors in the sports world, it’s no surprise that Vanessa King’s story sounds more like fact than fiction. And, hopefully Vanessa will come out on top in the game of navigating life in the City of Angels.