A Peek Inside the Sizzling Passion of Off-Court Romance

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 19: Former NBA star Rick Fox and actress Eliza Dushku watch the Los Angeles Lakers play the Phoenix Suns in Game Two of the Western Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 19, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

One of the reasons I'm so good at writing about the Lakers is that my day-to-day lifestyle is very similar to that of the players themselves. Almost indistinguishable, really. For instance, both I and various Lakers are known to step out on the town with numerous beautiful and famous women at our sides. In my case, the "women" consist of pictures I've printed off the Internet, and "stepping out on the town" means I've taped those photos to my couch pillows, but that's splitting hairs. Fundamentally, I know what it's like to pursue love and romance in the harsh view of the camera eye.

So when a deluge of stories about Lakers and their wives, girlfriends and rumored consorts hits the news wire, I know what the bros are going through. I empathize. Today, I thought I'd share a few of those stories with you, so you can get a glimpse of the scurrilous gossip people like me and Lamar Odom have to struggle with.

In fact, let's get things started with Lamar and a shocking scene that unfolded after Team USA's victory over France this past weekend....

Radar Online reports that on Sunday night, Lamar and Khloe rolled to the schmancy Juliet Supper Club in Manhattan to celebrate Team USA's victory. (Woo! Suck it, France.) The party included Kevin Durant and rapper Fabolous [sic]. All was proceeding to plan up in the club until Lamar, it seems, showed a bit too much hospitality to a few of his fans.

Another round for the table, Radar!

RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively that the attention Lamar gave to other women while out celebrating was more than Khloe could take - eventually causing her to leave solo. "Women kept stopping by the table to say hi to the guys," an eyewitness at Juliet Supper Club told RadarOnline.com. "After only 10 minutes, Khloe's jealousy got the best of her and she stormed out.

"I overheard Khloe cursing Lamar out for being ‘too friendly,'" the eyewitness said. "But Lamar didn't really seem bothered when she left. . . He ordered two more bottles of liquor and stayed with his buddies for a few more hours before heading out." Sources at the restaurant say Khloe didn't have anything to drink before storming out; she was fueled purely by good old fashioned jealousy.        

Khloe says this is all bullshit. According to a statement on her website:

Sorry to disappoint everyone, but Lamar and I aren't big fighters. Come to think of it, that was actually a really fun night out with all of our closest friends...lots of dancing, drinks and our usual silliness.

Look, Durant and Fabolous were there. Can't they be subpoenaed to settle this once and for all? Get out there and do your job, Radar Online. This is why our nation's sleaze-merchants are losing the fight for global competitiveness and always needing taxpayer bailouts.

Moving right along, BET has a touching story about Shannon Brown and R&B superstar Monica. As you'll recall, these two appeared together in this idiotic video. Is it possible their on-screen romance has led to real-life sparks in the bedroom? Dish, BET, dish!

The two were recently spotted having a night out and one fan wrote what she found out after seeing them in the club together. "I was at the club and saw Monica and Shannon Brown boo'd up in VIP. I tried to get a pic but it would have been too obvious. Someone at the club told me Shannon has accompanied her on a few of her road trips while she promotes her album. They make a really cute couple."

And according to [BET blogger] Sandra Rose, the two are getting along well and might be getting serious: "A little birdie told me that Shannon recently met Mo's parents Marilyn Best and Rev. Ed Best, and they both loved him!"

I too enjoy boo'ing up in VIP.

And what of ex-Laker Rick Fox? Handsome as ever, he recently moved in with girlfriend Eliza Dushku, star of Bring It On and other movies you've never seen. And of course, now she wants him to change his wardrobe.

Constructively criticize our attire, Daily Mail Online:

Rick Fox is finding out one of the big benefits [Ed note: ??] of moving in with girlfriend Eliza Dushku - free fashion guidance. The couple made for a colour-coordinated sight while venturing out to the Urth Cafe in West Hollywood. [Ed note: that place blows, btw.]

Fox, 41, recently said that cohabiting has led to a new wardrobe and a personal stylist on-hand around the clock. Dushku, 29, told People magazine that she "never believed (Fox) was a bad dresser" until they moved in together recently. She was forced to retire much of the outfits for the former basketball star turned actor.

See, this is why I had to break up with Eliza. One day she moved in with me, the next day she's saying I can't wear jorts when we go out and I have to cut back on my "NO FAT CHICKS" tees. Sorry, dear. I don't compromise my couture for any woman. (*pops collar, adjusts reflective Oakleys, slathers on another layer of Drakkar Noir*)

Finally, we get to Maria Sharapova, loyal galpal to Sasha Vujacic. The Telegraph has a good, if depressing, story about her recent visit to Gorel, Belarus. Gorel was part of the Chernobyl fall-out zone and has basically been an irradiated wasteland since that 1986 nuclear disaster. Maria's parents fled the area in the wake of the meltdown, and Maria herself was born in Siberia less than a year later.

At several points during this visit [Maria's father] Yuri, who transplanted Sharapova to Florida aged six, spends private time with his daughter, whether walking through sun-dappled forests to share his memories or taking her to the municipal hospital to see her grandmother, Galina.

Sharapova grasps the pain of her family history and has read, voraciously, about the impact of the Chernobyl catastrophe. She is keenly aware that 9,000 people around Gomel will die prematurely because of their exposure to radioactive dust and has not hesitated in her work as an ambassador to the region, on behalf of the United Nations Development Project.

I've never done anything good for the world, and I'm not about to start now, but I can appreciate the effort that goes into humanitarian work in grim, post-apocalyptic hellscapes like Gorel. Sasha's got himself a good woman there. In fact, though it's not totally clear from the article, it seems Sasha might've accompanied her on the trip.

It is nearly time for Sharapova to step back inside her luxury jet. Her boyfriend, Sasha Vujacic, point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, and Max Eisenbud, her Jerry Maguire-style agent, both seem moved by the warmth of emotion she has inspired among Chernobyl's survivors.

All I know about radiation exposure I learned in comic books, which teach us that it imbues its victims with awesome superpowers. If that's true, I hope Sasha picks up the kind that allow him to make 35% of his threes and not commit fouls in the backcourt like a colossal jackass.

Follow Dex on Twitter here.

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