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Gloria Govan: I Don’t Play Games

Gloria Govan, 24, fiance to LA Laker Matt Barnes, 30, made her dramatic final exit a few weeks ago on VH1’s hit show ‘Basketball Wives,’ after calling Shaunie O’Neal (Shaquille O’Neal’s ex-wife) every word in the book, including a c*nt. We weren’t shocked to see Govan go out fighting, considering that from day one, her fellow cast memeber’s animosity was difficult to ignore, forcing Govan to always be on the defense.

We chatted with the Bay area native about why the other basketball wives — many 10 years her senior — dislike her, the detriments of telling your business, and why she’s convinced her fiance baller Matt Barnes would never cheat on her.

From your time on the show, do you agree that you’re disliked because many think you’re trying to paint a perfect picture of your relationship with Matt?

If my life is perfect I would hate to see a dysfunctional relationship. My parents have been married for 35 years, Matt’s parents were married for 26 years before his mother passed. It’s just we have the same priorities and values when it comes to family.

With a family values like that why call off your wedding?

We were engaged six months after dating, and a lot has happened in the last five years we’ve been together. I’m a big believer in marriage, but I don’t think you should rush into it. I don’t ever want to get married twice, and when you choose someone to be your life partner, like I’ve choose Matt, I want to stay together. So knowing that I’ll be with Matt however long God permits makes me OK with not being married right now.

On the show the other women despised you because you didn’t open up about your relationship issues, do you feel women have a tendency tell other women to much?

Relationships can be difficult, and you have to have an outlet other than your significant other, but you have to watch what you say. Your friends can be loyal to you, and not really be loyal to those conversations. Personal information given to the wrong person can be bomb that could literally blow up in your face and ultimately ruin your life.

So then should your spouse be your best friend?

Your significant other has to be your best friend to make the relationship work. You get mad at your best friend, you argue, and then you’re friends again, relationships should be similar.

When dating an athlete are most of those arguments about cheating?

I have six brothers, so I understand the game. It might be easier for basketball players because of all the access, but it isn’t just basketball players out here cheating. Just because a person plays a sport, you can’t blame them for choosing a profession they love or are really good at. The sport isn’t who the person is, it’s what they do. Understanding what I will and will not deal with has made our relationship a whole lot easier.

What won’t you deal with on the show?

I won’t accept looking like a fool. I won’t accept walking into a room with everyone laughing because the joke is on me. Call it Inspector Gadget or whatever, but women have intuition and we’ll get to the bottom of things. I know Matt knows not to do anything in which I’ll feel disrespected. I may not be God’s gift to earth, but he’d be a damn fool to cheat on me.

Why do you feel Matt could never cheat on you?

There is no way in America that Matt can look me in the eye and say he cheated on me. I would be the next Lorena Bobbit. Anger is an understatement, I would phone out. I work hard, he comes home and the house is clean, food is cooked, events are booked and the kids are cared for. If I was cheated on, I would throw deuces up so quick it’s not even funny. If I say it’s okay, I’m not setting any type of boundaries, and a man will feel like it’s okay and take advantage, and then do it again. Hell naw! Don’t get me wrong, there are times when some things are able to be forgiven, but you still have to make them feel that punch.

Wow. Do you think women go overboard with their anger?

When women go, we go. I know there is that whole forgive and forget, but when you start arguing, everything comes out. I’ll follow you to wherever you are to finish an argument. I know how to push Matt’s buttons, and sometimes I can push one too many.

Would you say you’re overprotective of your relationship?

I’m a little protective, I just make sure he knows that there is nobody else in my life that would ever take his place, and I want the same. There are rules and guidelines we set for each other. For example, he tells me where and what room number he’s in when he’s away at practice. These aren’t things I ask for, but he knows it would bring a calm to me.

Since you’re not going to be on the show this season, what’s next?

We have our foundation, Matt has a clothing line, and I’m writing a cook book.

What would you say is the hardest part of dating an athlete?

The media is brutal. I’m always like why are you going to tear me apart when you don’t even know me?

Shirea L. Carroll is a journalist who has written for Essence, VIBE, Washington Post’s TheRoot.com, XXL’s Juicy, and AOL. Reporting on everything from music and entertainment to celebrity and love, she has interviewed some of today’s biggest celebrity names. Find the NJ native on her blog Invite Only, or follow her on Twitter @InviteOnly to find out “who is and isn’t invited.”

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