Shaunie O’Neal Talks ‘Basketball Wives 3′ And Her New Book
What’s new with you this season?
You get to see me with my kids again, you’ll see me as a business woman, as a friend, here in LA just doing what I do, being a mom, going to meetings⎯whatever it is that I’m doing again in the midst of dealing with my friends where we of course go on our trips and hang out and there’s always drama in the midst of that, so there’s a whole lot going on.
What interested you in adding Meeka to the show?
Meeka reached out to us. I didn’t know Meeka before. I didn’t know anything about her. We do have a mutual friend and she asked for info on how to get involved and that’s how it happened. She reached out and she was pretty persistent in getting involved with our show, and we are always open to a new face for the season if it makes sense, so she came down and did an on camera interview and we took a chance and we’ll see how it goes.
When you bring new ladies into the circle there’s apprehension from the women who have been there so how would you say that Meeka meshed with the other women?
That’s a crapshoot, let me just say that [laughs]. Without giving anything away, it will definitely be interesting. Honestly, I don’t know Meeka before this so I don’t know if this was anything she slightly thought was gonna happen but it’s difficult to come inside a group of ladies that are already friends and try to be friends with everybody. That’s not even really natural for just everybody to love everybody all the time, and I think in doing that it just causes some drama so it definitely is there.
We see you always trying to be the peacemaker but sometimes it’s like, you had to have known that drama was going to occur⎯
No. We don’t plan anything. We don’t plan stuff for the show. I don’t know who’s gonna fight, who’s gonna argue or when it’s gonna happen and neither do they so, no. I don’t know anything and on a production side, they would never want to know anything. Our realities are real and none of these ladies are actresses. I mean, Tami did act back in the day but Tami is really Tami. That’s the real Tami. When she’s acting you get this calm Mary Poppins Tami, but that’s really her. Even with the Evelyn and Tami thing, I never would have imagined that they would put their hands on each other. Tami having something smart to say, of course, Evelyn having something smart to say, of course. I could have Predicted that but putting their hands on each other, never. I never would have thought that. Of course now anything can happen and if they get to arguing I’m sure everybody would know to get them out of the same room together, but it’s like I never would have thought that they would actually put their hands on each other in that moment. Arguing is one thing but physically fighting is another.
Speaking of drama, why did Suzie decide to return?
I don’t really know. It was a last minute thing. She made a last minute decision to come back and you’ll see a lot more of her than you did last season.
Will we see Gloria again too?
You will see Gloria again but she won’t be back on this particular show.
I spoke to you before Basketball Wives season one was going to air and you said you planned for Football Wives and other sports wives chains but now that we’ve seen Football Wives not get as war a reception as Basketball Wives, will we see a second season?
You’re right, the reception wasn’t as warm as it was to Basketball Wives. We don’t really know what it was. It just didn’t work as smoothly. The chemistry wasn’t quite there with the ladies and it just came across on and off camera. It just didn’t mesh⎯the production with the cast and the cast with the cast⎯it just didn’t go very smooth. It was one of those things where we considered to recast and try again but with Basketball Wives coming out again and the success it was having it wasn’t a priority. It was one of those things where we’ll just put it on the back burner, maybe reinvent it maybe not and right now it’s a not.
Will you move forward with shows about other sports wives?
Maybe so but not right now. I’m executive producing a project that will probably be announced within the next couple of weeks so we’ll take things one step at a time. I got a lot on my plate right now with the shoe line and I’ll have a book out for the holiday season. Just life in general is hectic. I have five kids and I’m a hands-on mom with all the other stuff going on. There are other shows that I’m shopping that aren’t reality shows that I have on the table in development so again, I’m just trying my hand at a whole lot of things and I couldn’t be happier, so right now I’m gonna push the envelope while things are good.
What’s the book about?
It’s not a tell all, or about my personal experiences. It’s more of an inspirational self-help kind of book but not in a boring corny kind of way. It’s kind of like, this is how I feel about this and maybe I can help the next person by just sharing situations that I’ve been in. So, it’s my opinion and experiences on many different things.
If Shaunie today could tell Shaunie who was about to start filming Basketball wives season one anything, what would you tell her?
I’d tell her to get ready, keep your head up, have positive thoughts and again, I have nothing to complain about. Things are really good. I’ve been having a lot of fun in the midst of a lot of success. It’s very humbling and I insist on remaining humble and staying true to me. This has been a blessing and I’m thankful for having God and my family and my friends and my support.