NBA Wives and Girlfriends (WAGS)

06/06/14
 

Rashard Lewis's Wife Giovanni Fortes

 

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The volatile world of NBA dating. You gotta love it. Rashard Lewis’s wife Giovanni Fortes tied the knot with Lewis after a long, long period of time. Reports vary but it was something like 10 years. In the real world, that’s perfectly fine, but in the NBA it’s unusual. Hey, a man gets older, sitting atop his pile of questionably-deserved cash, and he thinks to himself, “you know, the best things in life may well be free, but I want to be extra sure of that before I commit.” Perfectly understandable, Mr. Lewis.

Lewis is somewhat famous for his entrance into the NBA in 1998. I like to call him “Green Room Lew.” Rather than attending college, Lewis elected to declare himself eligible for the NBA draft, where he was passed by every NBA team until the 2nd round, getting picked 32nd overall. This may not seem all that bad to you, but the green room where he was sitting in is for the top 15 prospects. It’s supposed to be a veritable VIP section, and there he sat watching player after proven player get up and put on their hat and jersey with a big moneyed grin on their face. It’s gotta’ be a little embarrassing, but the man brought it on himself. He wasn’t a valuable player his first two seasons, and those were the seasons he would have been crushing in college, too. He was paid $287,500 and $385,000 those seasons. Maybe he just really needed the cash to help his family out, but I remember at the time people were upset that he entered the league so young. Ah, the days of “Jerry Maguire,” Rod Tidwell, and Rashard Lewis. Late 90’s moneyball.

Now, yes, Giovanni is indeed a lovely woman. She’s beautiful, and she strikes a serious figure in the moonlight and all that jazz, but there’s just one more aspect to the Lewis/Fortes knot-tying that should be explored, and that is the ultra magnanimous signing of his Orlando Magic contract. Folks, he signed a $118 million deal with Orlando in 2007. Who in god’s name was his agent? I’m telling you, Jay Mohr put on his best suit from “Jerry Maguire” and absolutely steamrolled the Magic front office. I have no idea how they were able to convince the Magic that Rashard Lewis was going to be the next Kevin Garnett or whatever they said to them. I’ve seen Lewis’s numbers from his last season with Seattle, and while they are decent, they are in no way deserving of $118 million. Lewis got those decent numbers by playing on a losing team the season before (the 31-51 Sonics). I understand the Magic realized he’d work with okay Jameer Nelson and Dwight Howard, but they burnt through their wallet quite badly, as they’d soon realize. Anyway, after he amassed his Scrooge McDuck-like fortune, he was able to fly Giovanni and 25 bridesmaids out to Vegas to have a killer bachelorette party. The fact that there were 25 bridesmaids flown to Vegas is the thing people end up talking about when they reference his marriage; not where the money that gave him such amazing bridesmaid-flying power came from.

06/05/14
 

This Is Not Kawhi Leonard's Girlfriend

 

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Kawhi Leonard has massive hands.

But hearing that a professional athlete has massive hands is an abstract concept for many people to try to put together. Leonard's hands are big, even for an NBA player, but how do they measure up against the average joe. In what's become a famous picture a fan approached Leonard to get some perspective on the whole hand size situation, and the Internet immediately tabbed the hand that of Kawhi Leonard's girlfriend.

The picture first appeared on a Spurs Reddit page, and the backstory was told:

She saw him and Corey (Joseph) shopping at the store she works at in Dallas. He was reserved at first so she was talking to Corey a lot until she asked him why he was so shy, then he said, "I'm not shy, I'm talking now aren't I?" After that Kawhi opened up and was friendly.

So while this has been proven to not be Kawhi's girl, who is exactly? If our research is true, the only dude under the age of 57 getting big minutes for the Spurs, appears to be enjoying the single life. There's no rumors, stories or names attached to the guy tasked to guarding LeBron in the second straight finals matchup between the two squads. While the glare from the media spotlight is a little less bright in San Antonio compared with Boston, Miami or LA, there's just not much on Leonard's Love Life. If anything happens to crop up, or a girl appears with Kawhi when the confetti falls, we'll be sure to keep you posted.

06/04/14
 

Cory Joseph's Girlfriend Stefanie Gazmin

 

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Well look at this: two Canadian, professional sports-affiliated individuals who managed to slip through the all-devouring jaws of hockey and land in the heartland of The United States. Cory Joseph’s girlfriend Stefanie Gazmin is from Toronto, and Cory is from Pickering, Ontario. They did it, folks. Or more specifically- Cory did it. He managed to become a professional athlete from Canada that doesn’t play hockey. The NBA, no less. Where the hell is Steve Nash to cheers him and talk some of that wacky Canadian talk? Justin Bieber’s not invited to that party, though. As for Stefanie, she’s kind of just along for the ride, though she did just graduate college a few weeks ago so she’s got that accomplished.

These are youngsters. Cory is the old man of the duo at the age of 22. He’s talented; you’ve got to be to hang with the Spurs. He specializes in slashing and mid range pull-ups. He’s a fill-in guy with his pal Patty Mills, the excellent Aboriginal import who we’ve covered previously. San Antonio guards are awesome. Backing up Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker? It’s a great gig because you’re going to be learning from two of the best. That explains, of course, why young Cory is only getting 14 minutes per game in the regular season. $1.1 million a season is sort of the NBA standard for guys in his position. Seems very fair to me.

Cory recently saluted Kevin Durant for his heartfelt speech at the Kia MVP awards. The two are both Texas alumni, though neither spent more than a season playing for the Longhorns. I think as far as Cory’s drafting is concerned, NBA scouts can tell when they see a professional-caliber player who’s putting up decent but not mind-blowing numbers in college. Take Cory’s numbers, for example: 10 PPG, 3.6 APG, and 3.0 RPG. Yet he gets drafted straight after his freshman year at the end of the first round. Granted, it took him two years to rise out of the D-League, but that’s still a little shaky to me as far as pulling the trigger and entering the draft. Compare Durant’s college freshman stats and it gets a little silly: 25 PPG, 11 RPG. A tale of two Longhorns. You’ve got to tip your hat to Cory for fighting his way into the spotlight.