Player X discusses NBA groupies

ESPN The Magazine has been running an interesting feature where an unnamed professional athlete writes candidly about his sport. It started with the NFL and now they’re featuring an unnamed NBA player. Here is what he had to say about NBA groupies (Insider subscription required):

Not that long ago, The Mag’s NFL Player X (whoever he is) estimated that 30 percent of married NFL players cheat on their wives. I was surprised to hear it was that low. In the NBA, I think it’s closer to 60 percent.

Trades have been arranged because one woman is involved with two guys on the same team. That’s what happened in Dallas some years ago. And right now I know of one girl who is dating two NBA players. One makes her car payments, and the other pays her rent. They don’t know about each other, but they do share a money manager who’s writing both checks. It’s bound to blow up at some point.

As for the married guys, it’s not that hard for a groupie to get with one of them, either. They’re like regular dudes in corporate America who travel a lot, except they have more money and more opportunities to cheat. They don’t get caught because they keep it on the road, calling their wives all the time to check in.

In fact, I would guess that 50 percent of NBA wives actually started out as groupies. And a lot of those women are realistic about the scene their spouses are in. They take a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach. They will say something like, “Don’t embarrass me by getting caught.” It’s not that they like the situation, but they understand the circumstances. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that they were in those same clubs looking to get with a professional athlete, no matter how many tries it took.

The player goes on to wonder why players get married at all, and uses Derek Jeter as example of a player who can pretty much do whatever he wants because he’s single. It’s surprising that more players don’t go that route, though I’d guess that it can be tough to extricate yourself from a relationship that started before you hit the big time.

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