Phoenix Suns Wives and Girlfriends (WAGS)


Kevin Johnson's wife Michelle Rhee

In light of the Mayor of Sacramento and former NBA guard Kevin Johnson releasing a statement on behalf of the NBA Player's Association about Donald Sterling's retrograde, senile nonsense, we thought we'd introduce you to Mayor Kevin Johnson's wife Michelle Rhee. Rhee stands for improving the education of children. She was on the cover of both Time and Newsweek Magazine! How many wives of professional athletes can say they actually stand for something?

First, let's back up to the statement Johnson gave today.

We may not have the power to force Mr. Sterling to sell his team, but make no mistake, we believe that Mr. Sterling should no longer have the privilege of being an owner of an NBA team. After all, how can we expect any player (the majority of whom are African-American) to want to work for him?

This mirrors what Charles Barkley said a few nights prior in reference to the fact that hundreds of black athletes had built up Sterling's $12.5 million 1981 investment into a $575 million team. The message is very clear: no one in the NBA wants to have any association with Sterling. Doc Rivers has also stated he won't necessarily return to coach for the Clips, and he's under contract.

Michelle Rhee should be proud of Kevin. Rhee herself was the chancellor of Washington D.C. public schools from 2007 to 2010. She worked her way up by first teaching for three years in an inner-city school and then founding a project that recruited 23,000 teachers to work in city schools. School reform is a contentious topic as it pertains to standardized testing. Rhee's claims that she improved student scores may, whether accurate or not, lead to a deeper question: do improved standardized test scores mean students are learning how to more efficiently take the tests, or are they actually learning more? These are very difficult problems to unwrap, especially in poor communities without money to throw at the problem. This should tell you how dedicated a person you have to be to try and tackle such issues. Michelle Rhee started StudentsFirst after her chancellorship ended. It's a non-profit with the goal of improving education.

And Michelle Rhee's husband? Well, being mayor of Sacramento (and listening to all of the commentary the past few days, you would be forgiven if you thought his actual name is Mayor Kevin Johnson) is no small task. It's almost as difficult as, say, dunking on Hakeem Olajuwon. Back in the mid 90's, the clip of Johnson slamming one on Hakeem was used endlessly on shows like Inside The NBA and any intro to a playoffs series. It may have been the most widely used clip of 1994, with the possible exception of Shawn Kemp completing a high-wire alley-oop (perhaps the most used intro clip ever). The Dream of course paid Johnson back with a fairly humorous fast-break swatting that sent KJ to the ground.

04/04/14 (Updated)

Alex Len's girlfriend Essence Townsend

Alex Len is one of the top projected picks for the 2013 NBA Draft, and while the basketball universe learns more about his abilities on the court, we're taking a look to what's happening for Len off the court. It appears that Alex Len's girlfriend Essence Townsend is right at the top of that list.

The seven foot tall Ukrainian, Len, played two years at the University of Maryland, where he met his fellow center for the women's basketball team, Essence Townsend. Townsend, who hails from Patterson, New Jersey ("Here comes the story of the Hurricane,...."), is a senior at UMD. At 6'7" tall, Townsend was one of the only women on Maryland campus who could stay in the frame of a picture taken with Len, so their relationship was a natural fit. While her senior season was cut short by a torn ACL during the preseason, Townsend was a four year varsity athlete. Townsend left Maryland this spring with a degree in family science, which she will continue with graduate education in the fall.

However, it remains to be seen where her graduate school will be, as she may be travelling with her boyfriend Alex Len. Len is projected to go anywhere from Cleveland at 1, all the way down to Portland at 10 and anywhere in between. We'll keep an eye out on the draft Thursday night, as Len was in the first batch of 10 invites to attend the draft from the green room. If he accepts, you can bet that Alex Len's girlfriend Essence Townsend will be right there to cheer him on.

07/03/12 (Updated)

Shannon Brown's wife Monica

The two met in 2009 while filming a video for Monica's song, Love All Over Me (which sounds flat out dirty if you ask me.
The two dated for a few months before getting engaged in October, 2010, which they announced via Twitter.
The two were secretly married on November 22, 2010 in Los Angeles. They plan to hold a reception/celebration in June, probably as soon as the Celtics finish beating the Lakers in oh, lets say 5 games...

We don't have enough white space to cover this:
Monica is probably best known as an R&B singer, having sold more than 20 Million albums worldwide, and topping the Billboard charts in a career spanning over 15 years now.
While her singing career churns on, she has also embraced other opportunities, including trying her chops at acting on both TV and movies. The rumor mill says that she's being considered as the main character in the remake of The Bodyguard.
Monica has also had a successful reality TV career, with her most recent show being the 2nd highest rated premiere in BET history.