Basketball Stars Who Cheated On Their Partners

In September 2022, when news broke that Celtics head coach Ime Udoka (and partner to actor Nia Long) was facing suspension over an inappropriate relationship with another Boston Celtic Staffer, we were once again reminded that love in the celebrity world is not all roses and sunshine. Famous folks might enjoy all the money, fame, and luxury, but at the end of the day, celebrities are really just regular people who sometimes make mistakes and other times, get betrayed by those they hold dear. And what speaks betrayal more than being cheated on?

Of the many celebrity cheating stories that have made news through the years, some are harder to forget than others. Like Ben Affleck's alleged stepping out on his marriage with Jennifer Garner to date their nanny. There is also Kristen Stewart's 2012 affair with a movie director as well as Brad Pitt's alleged affair with Angelina Jolie while still married to Jennifer Aniston back in 2005.

But away from the movie folks, the NBA has also seen a fair share of cheating scandals over time. From Tristan Thompson's never-ending affairs to Michael Jordan's infidelity-related lawsuits, news of a basketballer cheating has become all too common. And with divorce lawyer Bruce Provda admitting to Forbes that "It's hard to keep a marriage going if you're a celebrity athlete," there might be no end to this particular problem.

Lamar Odom cheated on Khloe Kardashian

Once upon a time, Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian were seemingly headed for the Hollywood Power Couple title, but 2013 came and everything crumbled. In August 2013, Radar Online reported that Paulina Polonsky, a woman with whom Odom allegedly had an affair, passed a lie detector test confirming their relationship. Per the outlet, Polonsky met the NBA star at Los Angeles' Roosevelt Hotel and soon commenced a romantic relationship with him, assuming that he was separated from Kardashian. "I was under the impression that he had left Khloe, and that's why he was living at the Roosevelt," she said to Star, via Radar. "He acted completely available and we definitely had a mutual attraction."

Kardashian, however, caught wind of the affair as Polonsky confirmed that the reality star showed up at the Roosevelt Hotel in a bid to catch her husband. In his 2019 memoir "Darkness to Light," Odom also recalled how Kardashian and her mom Kris Jenner once caught him surrounded by naked girls in Roosevelt Hotel.

And even though they have both since moved on, Odom still wishes he did things differently. "I wish I could have been more of a man," the NBA star admitted to People in 2019. "It still bothers me to this day. But regret is something we have to learn to live with."

Michael Jordan was sued by alleged lovers

When Michael Jordan married Juanita Vanoy in 1989, the NBA star was sure he had made the right decision. "I'm happy," he said at the time, via The Washington Post. "It was a big move getting married. It helped me mature." And for over a decade, things appeared to be going well for the couple. That is, until 2002, when Juanita filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. Though the two eventually reconciled, Michael Jordan was caught up in a major scandal shortly after.

In October 2002, the NBA player filed a lawsuit against a past lover whom he accused of attempted extortion over threats to expose their affair. Per The Sydney Morning Herald, Jordan and the woman identified as Karla Knafel were in a relationship some years prior. The Chicago Tribune would later confirm that the affair started only three months after Michael and Juanita got married. This, apparently, was not the first time the NBA star cheated on his wife.

In 2013, TMZ reported a paternity lawsuit filed by a woman named Pamela Smith who claimed that Jordan fathered a child with her during their relationship in 1995. After it was proven that the child's paternity was determined several years before (and Jordan was not the father), Smith dropped her lawsuit against the NBA Star.

Tristan Thompson betrayed Khloe Kardashian -- multiple times

After her tumultuous marriage and very high-profile divorce from Lamar Odom, "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star Khloe Kardashian gave love a second chance with Tristan Thompson. The couple started dating in 2016, and it was not long before Thompson found himself in the middle of a cheating scandal. In a video obtained by TMZ in April 2018, the Chicago Bulls player was spotted going into an NYC hotel with a woman he reportedly met at a nightclub. Daily Mail also released a clip showing Thompson getting cozy with a woman at a Manhattan bar. Though Us Weekly reported that the couple was back together in May 2018, Thompson apparently went back to his old ways — only this time, with someone too close to home.

In February 2019, TMZ broke the news that Kardashian broke up with Thompson after he was caught making out with Kylie Jenner's then-best friend, Jordyn Woods, at a house party. "Khloé is completely devastated," a source told Us Weekly. "This is out of character for Jordyn and no one expected this to happen." But yet again, Kardashian and Thompson rekindled their love. And then in 2021, the reality star was hit with another heartbreaking bit of news. Thompson had fathered a child with another woman named Maralee Nichols.

Dwyane Wade got another woman pregnant during a 'break'

With their romance dating as far back as 2008, even today, Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union are as in love as ever, and boy, do they show it off. "It's been 8 years now married to my best friend and a lifetime to go," Union wrote in an August 2022 Instagram post celebrating their wedding anniversary. "May this journey of ours always be filled with joy and laughter and compassion and grace. I love you, baby, forever." But with love, also comes great trials.

In 2013, Wade confirmed he fathered a child with another woman earlier in the year, while separated from Union. "I had a time, a part in our break, in our pain and our hurt, a blessing came out of it in my life, having a son that was born healthy," the NBA player said, via E! News. "So I'm moving on." Despite this, however, Wade and Union ended up tying the knot the following year in 2014.

Now, many years might have passed, but Wade and Union still have memories of this trying period of their lives. "To say I was devastated is to pick a word on a low shelf for convenience," the "Think Like a Man" star wrote in a September 2021 essay for Time. "I have not had words, and even after untold amounts of therapy I am not sure I have them now."

Shaquille O'Neal admitted to cheating on his wife

In December 2002, Shaquille O'Neal got married to long-time girlfriend, Shaunie Henderson, in an intimate ceremony which Lucille O'Neal, the basketballer's mom, described as "the event of a lifetime," per People. The couple briefly separated in 2007, only to reconcile shortly after. And then in 2009, Henderson filed for legal separation, citing irreconcilable differences, as reported by TMZ.

The retired NBA player would later open up about the eventual divorce in his 2011 memoir, "Shaq Uncut: My Story," admitting to infidelity and other shortcomings. "At one time my ex-wife Shaunie and I were happy, but I admit it–I was a guy," he wrote (via Huffpost). "I was a guy with too many options. Choosing to be with some of those women, well, that's on me. In my mind, I never did it disrespectfully, but obviously, I shouldn't have done it all."

And while it might not have been public knowledge at the time of their divorce, Henderson apparently went into a rage after finding out about O'Neal's affairs. "​​And I went in the arena and I went in that garage, not only did I flatten tires, bust a few windows, I wrote on the hood [of his car], 'I cheat on my wife. I ain't s***,' with a knife," she revealed in an episode of "Basketball Wives" (via BET).

Carmelo and LaLa Anthony split up over his alleged infidelity

On July 10, 2010, then-up-and-coming television personality LaLa Anthony married NBA star Carmerlo Anthony in a star-studded New York ceremony, according to People. "Best Night of my entire life," LaLa wrote in a tweet at the time. "Thank u to all of my family and friends who shared tonight with me. I'm on Cloud 9 right now ..." However, what seemed like a love story written in the stars soon became riddled with tales of infidelity on Carmelo's part. In 2017, TMZ reported that the basketball player was reportedly expecting a child with a woman with whom he had an affair. 

Though the couple ended up separating, it was not until 2021, four years later, that LaLa eventually filed for divorce. "Within me, I think that stepping away from that marriage was such an incredibly hard decision for me, but it made me realize there's nothing I can't do," LaLa said in an interview for The Hollywood Reporter's Emerging Hollywood series. "Staying is easier. Walking away is harder."  These days, the exes get along just fine as LaLa revealed to "The Angie Martinez Show" that she and the basketball player are still friends. "We're raising a kid together, it's no drama with us, it's no beef," she added.

Iggy Azalea caught Nick Young cheating

Rapper/basketball player pairings aren't the most common in the celebrity space, but Iggy Azalea and Nick Young sure made us swoon while it lasted. According to InTouch Weekly, the couple got together in 2014 after the rapper tweeted about having a crush on her. "One of my guy friends actually brought it to my attention," she told The Daily Telegraph. "I thought he was pretty handsome, so I went on a date with him."

On his 30th birthday in June 2015, Young proposed to the rapper with a reported $500,000 ring, per Us Weekly. Sadly, only shortly after postponing their wedding in 2016, a video surfaced showing the NBA star admitting to cheating on Azalea. Two months later, the couple announced their breakup. "Unfortunately although I love Nick and have tried and tried to rebuild my trust in him," Azalea wrote on Instagram (via Billboard). "It's never easy to part ways with the person you planned you're [sic] entire future with, but futures can be rewritten and as of today mine is a blank page."

The "Fancy" rapper would later confirm that the relationship ended after catching him cheating. "I broke up with Nick because I found out he had brought other women into our home while I was away and caught them on the security footage," she wrote on Twitter, via Grazia

Tony Parker was texting a teammate's wife

"Desperate Housewives" star Eva Longoria and four-time NBA champion Tony Parker were a match made in heaven — or so it seemed. The couple met in 2004 and it did not take long for Parker to pop the big question. "I cried my eyes out," Longoria gushed to People of their 2006 engagement. "I was mostly touched by how nervous he was. I was like, 'You know I'm going to say yes. Why are you so nervous?' But I guess every man gets nervous at that point." A year later, Parker and Longoria got married in a beautiful Paris ceremony, per E! News. And then trouble started.

In 2007, Alexandra Paressant, a French model, came out to say Parker cheated on Longoria with her. The NBA star denied the claims, with his attorney telling People: "Tony adamantly and unconditionally denies ever having laid eyes on this woman, let alone having had an affair with her." Longoria, seemingly supporting her husband, revealed that she had no reason to doubt Parker. But it did not take long for the tune to change. 

Longoria filed for divorce in 2010, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason for their split. According to Extra, the "Overboard" actor caught Parker texting Erin Barry, his teammate's wife. "Eva wants everyone to know, she's devastated by the rumors of Tony's infidelity," a source told the outlet.

Daniel Gibson was unfaithful to Keyshia Cole

After two years together, singer Keyshia Cole tied the knot with her basketballer beau, Daniel Gibson, in a private ceremony in May 2011. "It's OFFICIAL!!!!! #Done & #TrulyBlessed ... Mr. & Mrs. Gibson," Gibson tweeted at the time.  "We appreciate all the Well Wishes! ... Yeees." Only a few years in, the couple started having trouble. It all started in 2014 when, according to HuffPost, Gibson shared a picture of himself posing with a stripper in a strip club. 

The following year, the couple was back in the news after Cole called out the NBA star for texting another woman while they were trying to mend their marriage. "I guess the starting over as 'Friends' thing doesn't work," Cole wrote on Instagram (via BET). "How could you invite me to a video shoot, but your [sic] trying to mess with the 'love interest' while your wife is there!"

After what appeared to be years of trying to make things work, Cole filed for divorce in 2017, listing their day of separation as October 2014 and citing irreconcilable differences, per The Blast. Gibson would later admit to stepping outside of their marriage. "After the lying and the cheating, she still allowed me to be around my son every single day," he said (via Essence). And Cole said, "It's just kinda crazy that the same person that you do all these disrespectful things to is the one that's going to be there to support you and pick you up."