Asking The $1,000,000 Question

By Dr. Boyce Watkins, BASN Contributor
Updated: December 6, 2009

NEW YORK (BASN) — It seems that NBA star Shaquille O’neal, like many other athletes, has a personal life that no one knows about.

The YBF.com has released exclusive text messages between Shaquille and his mistress, Latosha Lee.

I am noticing a trend here: People are starting to find out that athletes are not always one-woman people.

But are you actually surprised?

In fact, do you ever wonder why anyone would consider marrying an athlete in the first place? But then again, we also know that not every athlete is going to be unfaithful and not every unfaithful man is an athlete. Either way, both Shaquille O’neal and Tiger Woods are in the middle of major marital drama. In the text messages, Shaq’s personal life is put on blast. The messages are long and drawn out, with an awkward reading from bottom to top. During the conversation, the two lovers describe their travel arrangements and Latosha’s relationship with NBA baller Damien Wilkins (nephew of Dominique Wilkins).

They also have an argument about a purse that Latosha wants from Shaq, but that he is not willing to buy her. If you like drama, then you can find it here.

But above and beyond the drama (remember, I analyze and find teachable moments in everything), there are some other thoughts that went through my mind: Latosha and Shaq seem to have an interesting perception of love In the text messages between Shaq and his mistress, there was an exchange during which Shaq mentions that Latosha cheated on him to be with Damien Wilkins. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, given that Shaq has been married for several years now. If you have a wife, does it make sense to expect your second woman to be faithful? Additionally, the lovey-dovey language between Shaq and his mistress in the text messages seems to run in contradiction to the fact that their relationship lies beyond the bounds of legitimacy. It appears that Shaq, like a lot of people who cheat, was looking for an emotional connection that goes beyond the one he has with his wife, Shaunie.

You dumped her over a purse? During the text message conversation, the couple fights over the purse that Latosha asks Shaq to send her. Shaquille apparently becomes concerned that he is being used for his wealth. This seems to ignore the fact that Shaq doesn’t find any fault in him using Latosha for her body.

It’s hard not to wonder why Shaq suddenly feels that he can’t afford to buy a purse for his mistress. Even I can afford a purse, and I’m not earning $12 million dollars a year, but the materialistic trade between Shaq and Latosha, sex for money, is not uncommon. As we discuss regularly in our show, Financial Lovemaking, there is a love and money trade-off in millions of relationships. The difference is that with a mistress, the trade-off becomes more direct and explicit.

Why do athletes get married anyway?

It seems that with all the millions of dollars that professional athletes are paying for in the “sin” of sexual freedom, some would reconsider the institution of marriage. There appears to be something inside the heart of a man, though, that makes him want to do the right thing, even though he knows that it’s going to be difficult to do it.

He meets the woman of his dreams, loves her with all his heart, plans to remain focused solely on her and then things change. Perhaps a year or two in to the marriage, he starts to get bored. He might even feel a bit lonely and neglected physically, or he might even just want a little sexual variety. Either way, he starts to notice the other women around him, and before you know it, he’s paying $100 million dollars to get divorced. The cheating cycle of celebrity marriage is as predictable as the mailman coming to your house every day. Oh, that’s right, the Mailman Karl Malone also had a child that he allegedly ignored for years, who was born to a 13-year-old girl that he impregnated.

Text messages between Shaq and his mistress are really nothing new When Kobe Bryant got married at the age of 21, I shrieked, knowing that this situation was headed for disaster. No 21-year-old superstar has any business trying to be married. When Tiger got married in his twenties, I was concerned, mainly because a man who spends 10 hours a day on a golf course is likely going to have some trouble catering to the needs of a wife and children. Finding celebs who cheat on their spouses is as easy as finding a teenager who listens to Lil Wayne.

What this tells me is that there is something about marriage and family that appeals to the athlete, which is why many cheating men love their families immensely. The hard part is that the testosterone implicit in being the alpha male of your sport is not entirely consistent with lifelong monogamy. Hate me if you want, but the evidence proves my point: people have to be realistic about what to expect from marriage.

Unfortunately, for many men, the person you love is not always the person you want to have sex with. It’s not just a matter of all men being undisciplined jerks; it’s something much deeper than that.

The text messages between Shaq and his mistress Latosha are here if you want to read them. You will probably find them interesting.

Rather than smacking your lips, twisting your neck and condemning their behavior, though, try to think carefully about your own relationships and how they might be adjusted to be more successful.

Shaq may be a jerk to you, but many men think the exact same way. Most marriages in America are failing, and many people are choosing not to do it at all.

Something has got to change to make the institution more appealing.