Stories of Athletes Stealing Each Other's Girls
Most professional athletes are extremely competitive by nature. If they weren't, they probably wouldn't be professional athletes.
These guys are constantly jockeying for position in their respective game. Not only are they dealing with challenges from the opposition, there are additional internal factors at play as well.
Oftentimes the fiercest feuds are between guys sharing the same locker room. Wearing the same jersey brings them together as a team, but it should never be mistaken for a blanket pledge of loyalty.
The minute someone gets complacent in their position is the minute some backstabbing jerk face is going to come in and steal his girl. Or at least try to steal his girl. Or maybe just try to get her in bed.
Whatever though. All I'm saying to the fellas is to look alert and keep an ear to the ground, because you never know when someone you trusted—maybe even your best bro—is going to swoop in and do you dirty.
If it happened to these guys, it can happen to anyone.
Tommy Salo and Mike Comrie
In January 2008 Mike Comrie returned to Edmonton with the Islanders, the fourth team he had played on since leaving the Oilers, and was met with an impressively frosty reception from the crowd.
Comrie's relationship with Disney princess Hilary Duff, whom he has since married, was the subject of much tabloid fodder at the time. Although there was another alleged relationship that got Canadian tongues wagging in the fall of 2003.
Rumor from The Edmonton Journal has it that our young lad Comrie "hooked up" with the wife of goalkeeper Tommy Salo while his teammate was away from the team for a stretch. Naturally, he's denied the allegations, but they persisted for years…and where there's smoke...
Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone
In 2003 Karl Malone, then 40 years old, signed with the Lakers and struck up a friendship with a young hotshot by the name of Kobe Bryant. Unlike the tentative bond Bryant had with Dwight Howard, their relationship extended beyond the confines of the Staples Center.
They often went out together socially with wives and children in tow. So you can understand why Bryant told ESPN.com he was "upset" to learn the Mailman had been scamming on his longtime love, Vanessa, in December 2004.
There was no affair, or rumor of an affair, just a few skeevy incidents and some seriously misread social cues. Initially Malone denied any wrongdoing, but eventually he stepped that back and apologized for anything "that was out of line."
The old "I didn't do anything, but if I did, I am very sorry about that." Works every time...
Justin Verlander and Mark Sanchez
Because Kate Upton is stunningly tight-lipped about her sexipades, this one is just speculation.
But there is definitely potential overlap in the two-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model's flings with Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez and Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
Upton was first linked to Sanchez is late 2011 and, as of her appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in February 2012, she was still playing coy about their relationship. Which would lead one to believe that they were likely still together, otherwise she probably would've just denied the whole thing.
A month later she and Verlander appeared in a commercial together for MLB 2K12.
Ms. Upton will not confirm or deny any of this, but there's no question that Sanchez and Verlander may very well have been juggled by this buxom heartbreaker.
John Harkes and Eric Wynalda
In 1998 former American soccer player John Harkes was dropped by the U.S. men's national team just two months prior to the World Cup. Coach Steve Sampson said the decision to cut ties with one of their best players—and team captain—was due to "leadership issues."
Sampson was able to keep a lid on what really happened for over a decade, but in February 2010 he finally cracked. In an interview with the Associated Press (h/t Huffington Post) he revealed that Harkes was cut from the team because of an affair he had with the wife of teammate Eric Wynalda.
Apparently an entirely different teammate let that cat out of the bag and Sampson felt he needed to act on it. Doesn't that sound like a whole mess of awkward?
Jason Kidd and Jim Jackson
Although there were no long-term relationships to come of their brief couplings, former Mavericks Jason Kidd and Jim Jackson were both romantically involved with singer Toni Braxton in the mid '90s.
That probably wouldn't have been such a big deal if their short-lived relationships didn't overlap in such a noteworthy way. The two former teammates had a well-known rift during their time together, and Braxton is thought to be the cause.
As relayed by ESPN's Jeff Merron, legend has it that the feud stemmed from an incident in which Braxton arrived at the Mavs' hotel in Atlanta to pick up Kidd for a night out, but left with Jackson instead.
In the years since the debacle, both players have denied the rumors, but it had been widely accepted as likely fact before the denials.
Sean Avery and Mike Komisarek
In December 2008, then-Stars agitator Sean Avery, who has since retired, was suspended indefinitely by the NHL for making a comment to Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf about indulging in his "sloppy seconds."
Which is honestly funny, considering it's one of the least offensive things Avery did in his entire 12-year career in the league. That being said, actress Elisha Cuthbert wasn't even technically classified as such at the time. I guess…sloppy thirds…would've been more accurate.
She had actually dated Phaneuf's teammate Mike Komisarek for a brief period of time much closer to her breakup with Avery before getting romantically involved with her future husband months later.
Steve Nash and Leandro Barbosa
When rapidly aging Lakers point guard Steve Nash split from ex-wife Alejandra Amarilla in February 2011, she had just given birth to the couple's second child.
The strange timing of their abrupt breakup led to a lot of speculation as to what could be behind the whole thing. Rumors ran rampant that Amarilla had given birth to a baby of mixed-race, which led to even more rumors about the potential paternity.
The rumors about the child seem to be unfounded, but those linking Amarilla with two of Nash's ex-teammates in Phoenix—first to Leandro Barbosa, then to Jason Richardson—have proven more difficult to shake.
And the fact that Richardson was considered persona non grata in Los Angeles after Nash signed with the Lakers in 2012? Well…it certainly didn't do anything to change that perception.
Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen
Dennis Rodman isn't the only Bull that briefly won the affections of pop superstar Madonna in the '90s. He's just the most colorful.
Before her high-profile affair with the Bulls bad boy, Ms. Madonna was sitting front-row center in Chicago eying up his teammate Scottie Pippen.
And his teammate, Michael Jordan, was eying her up.
But those were before the days of the interwebs, when superstars could still lead super private lives. So details on this one are sparse, but people are still buzzing about these three on message boards 20 years later.
Pau Gasol and Shannon Brown
Lakers big man Pau Gasol did not have a career year in the 2010-11 season, but he waited until the playoffs to really lay an egg. When the Lakers were swept by the Mavericks, his lackluster play was largely to blame.
Seriously, a man that big never looked so small.
Rumors about what was getting to Gasol began to circulate quickly and speculation abound problems with his girlfriend, Silvia Lopez Castro, could be the culprit. Castro was suspected of having a fling with Gasol's then-teammate Shannon Brown.
Brown decided the best way to address the issue was via Twitter: "Ok let me put a end to this right now before it goes any further. I DID NOT SLEEP WITH @paugasol woman!!! First and last time addressing it!"
Uh. Okay. Case closed, I guess.
Sergei Fedorov and Pavel Bure
Before Russian tennis (or something that vaguely resembled the sport) goddess Anna Kournikova hooked up with singer Enrique Iglesias for the long haul over a decade ago, she had a thing for hockey players.
Russian hockey players. In 1999 Kournikova was dating Sergei Fedorov, and it must have been pretty serious because they were married in 2001. Although maybe not that serious because they were divorced by 2003.
Also making me wonder how serious that whole relationship was is Kournikova's overlapping relationship with Pavel Bure in 1999 and rumored engagement in 2000. Whoa-whoa here she comes! Watch out boys, she'll chew you up.
John Terry and Wayne Bridges
In January 2010 Chelsea footballer John Terry became the object of national scorn when it was revealed that he cheated on his wife with the girlfriend of a teammate.
The teammate was English defender Wayne Bridge and the girlfriend was French underwear model Vanessa Perroncel. Terry had been married to wife Toni for three years at the time and the couple had one child.
Somehow they managed to weather that storm and are still together today. But you know what Rachel Green's mom always says: "Once a cheater…always a cheater." Hopefully Terry learned a valuable lesson about keeping it in his pants.
He probably didn't though.
Gilbert Arenas and Shaquille O'Neal
In November 2009 TheYBF published a series of emails exchanged between the NBA's biggest big man, Shaquille O'Neal, and Basketball Wives L.A. cast member Laura Govan.
Not only was Shaq married at the time, although he never cheated on his ex-wife Shaunie "disrespectfully," (seriously, he said that) but Govan was engaged to Wizards star Gilbert Arenas…and is the mother of his four children.
Ugh. How does a mother of four find time to tend to the needs of that many young children and deal with the antics of Arenas annnnd still set aside some "me time" to sext with Shaq? She should teach a class on time management.
Govan tried to deny the allegations, claiming the emails were "fake" and insisting she had never cheated on Arenas. Shaq did nothing of the sort—respectfully.
Tony Parker and Brent Barry
In November 2010 Spurs superstar point guard Tony Parker found himself on the receiving end of some seriously unflattering press coverage when it was revealed that his wife, actress Eva Longoria, had filed for divorce amid rumors of infidelity.
It was a scandal that became even more scandalous with the revelation that the object of Parker's affection was a woman by the name of Erin Barry, with whom Longoria alleged he exchanged hundreds of texts.
That woman happened to be the wife of Parker's teammate Brent Barry. Neither marriage survived the affair—both couples were divorced within months of the affair making headlines.
Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich
On March 4th 1973, then-Yankee teammates Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich each held their own press conference—six strange hours apart—to announce a rather unconventional change they would be making in their personal lives.
Peterson and Kekich both publicly announced their intentions to swap lives with each other. And they were not messing around. They swapped wives, children, and even the family dog. Completely nutso, I know.
As crazy as it was, the switcheroo actually worked out quite well. In an interview with the Palm Beach Post in January 2013, Peterson said that 40 years later he still had no regrets. He called it a "love story" and insisted "it wasn't anything dirty."
Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.