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Shaq does not want his name used on "Basketball Wives"

Apr 15, 2010, 12:11 PM EDT

I’ll be honest: I didn’t watch the premiere of VH1’s “Basketball Wives” last weekend. I was going to, it was part of the job I told myself, but there was nothing about this that is remotely appealing. So when it came time, I thought a rerun of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America was the better reality television option. Probably was.

Apparently Shaquille O’Neal isn’t watching either. Not only that, he had his lawyers contact his ex-wife and show star Shaunie O’Neal to make sure his name was not even uttered on the show. Of course, TMZ got the scoop.

Shaq’s lawyer has fired off a letter to the network — obtained by TMZ — in which he demands VH1 immediately halt production on “any further episodes of ‘Basketball Wives’ which make any reference to Mr. O’Neal.”

Shaq’s lawyer claims Shaunie signed a confidentiality agreement at some point in their relationship — so if she says anything about Shaq on TV, she and the production company will find their asses in court.

Of course, one of the upcoming episodes was going to focus heavily on the pair’s relationship. What else has it got to sell?

Eric Freeman of The Baseline took one for the team and watched the premiere episode last weekend. His comments:

The conceit of the show is that Shaunie O’Neal, the long-time wife of Shaquille who recently filed for divorce, is looking to bring new basketball wives into her social circle, except no one involved acts like they’re particularly excited about hanging out with anyone else…

In contrast to the show’s title, most of the cast members are former fiancees or long-term girlfriends, not wives. Then there’s Royce (Dwight Howard’s baby mama, although that is never mentioned), a former dancer who has dated several players and exists only because she’s a free spirit (i.e. dances provocatively at nightclubs) who needs guidance from the wise older women.

Evelyn, ex of Antoine Walker: “Yeah, I had all these Louis Vuitton bags, but at the end of the day it didn’t mean anything, because he wasn’t there.” Change “Louis Vuitton bags” to “great seats,” and that quote could very easily come from any number of disgruntled fans.

Yup, the Gordon Ramsay call sounds pretty good now.

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