The Beatles, arguably the greatest band of their era, had their Yoko. The Denver Nuggets, arguably the most likely NBA franchise to exit the playoffs in the first round, had LaLa. Oh yes, LaLa. And while Yoko tore apart the rock quartet, only to steer John Lennon into shrieking solo records and head-slapping bed-ins, LaLa wandered off the set of MTV, sharpened her claws, and turned a once proud basketball star into a shriveling mess of emasculated fame-whorishness. The same young lad who once hoisted a trophy as a college freshman became a lazy, passionless ball hog, concerned with little more than padding his resume with 27 a night while spending time on the court’s other half in a blinged-out Lazy Boy. Sure, Carmelo Anthony was a human highlight reel, with touch and talent to burn, but as his wife focused on her “career” – then, now, and forevermore little more than being a pro athlete’s wife – he lost his way. The team faltered, Melo checked out, and LaLa flew from LA to New York and back again, pausing in Denver only for the time it took to attend a Nuggets game and text the entire fucking time. Oh, she was dressed to the nines, this one, and she walked in all slow like, to command full attention, but it’s just as likely that she has no idea what her husband even does for a living. In all the time I saw her at center court, she never once looked up from her phone.
Now LaLa is back full force, having sucked off a good dozen suits at VH1 to receive her 30 minutes of precious TV time each week to chronicle the least interesting life ever captured by a functioning camera. Having watched a few episodes of her last effort, which took what seemed like six months to showcase her wedding to Melo, I was prepared for 3.4 seconds of actual content stretched over several months of airtime, but the show’s opening salvo just might set a record for inaction. A filmed wall might top it for drama, and for the first and only time I sat with envy at those forced to endure an unbearable Minnesota winter watching grandpa ice fish. LaLa, wholly lacking talent, charisma, or a reason to get up in the morning, has us convinced that our week would not have been worthwhile unless we could have witnessed the arrival of a few friends, a limo trip to a Denver bowling alley, a few frames, and a snowball fight with one of LaLa’s friends running topless down the street. Throughout, Melo is almost a ghostly presence, inhabiting the edges with apathy, disgust, and an occasional half-hearted smile. I’d like to think that he too was embarrassed by his wife’s unfathomable fame, but I think that’s just how he is. You know, a self-involved prick who, for all of his sense of team, should be suffering in obscurity while reminding the public of Sam Bowie.
So while I hate Melo with the sort of rage usually reserved for guards at Buchenwald or Vice Presidents named Cheney, I must and will blame LaLa. At least Melo, one of the game’s most marble-mouthed morons, can do something with his time that entertains the masses. LaLa, on the other hand, so revoltingly dull that VH1 might have considered a documentary on Melo’s fur coat as raising the stakes, brings us nothing. This season premiere, however, brings us less. Must we endure an exterior shot of Melo’s home, all 25,000 square feet of it, to remind us that America, above all, is a land where the least deserving spend their evenings playing golf indoors while most of us suffer through meals of macaroni and cheese? Or inside, where we stare in stupefaction as a woman who, a mere two decades ago, would have been jerking off transients for bus fare, makes pancakes for a pampered creep? The worst part of it all is that LaLa admits she’s rarely in this airplane hangar of a home because she’s too busy on the coasts. Why, then, the estate? Also weighed down by a diamond that rivals a nearby grapefruit, need you ask? So am I just jealous? Hell yes, but murderous first. At no point was I not rooting for little Kiyan to drive his little vehicle straight into that motherfucker’s knee, forever ending his dream of bringing a title to New York.
Eventually, LaLa and Melo hit Lucky Strike, a downtown bowling alley only slightly less expensive than a night at the Pepsi Center. A ball or two is thrown, with most of the time spent watching LaLa try to set up her equally idiotic friend with Aaron Afflalo. Shockingly, she’s not interested, proving that she’s likely not her actual friend as much as hired talent. Even the girl who eventually bares her chest is a cipher, and probably the last one we want to see naked who’s not JR Smith. Why are they bowling? For charity? Not bloody likely, unless you count a vanity project as LaLa’s contribution to the poor. And so it is. My wife, for reasons both masochistic and insane, follows LaLa on Twitter, and for at least two weeks, Melo’s wife has been devoting every last character to the show’s promotion. “Eight days to go! RT! RT! RT!”, she roars, minute after minute, hour after hour, until we relent. Kind of like Melo after LaLa withheld her vagina until he forced management to send him to the Big Apple. Since she always hated Denver, or at least never paused to give it a fair shake, she wanted to make sure she could keep an eye on her man while she went on talk shows to discuss being on talk shows. I’d call her a vapid cunt, but that grants her a personality. She registers as if asleep at the wheel, smiling and eyelash-batting with such force that we know she’s like a desperate real estate agent trying to unload the Clutter farmhouse.
Clearly VH1 is contractually obligated to air this thing in its entirety, though no doubt they learned early in the editing suite that, to their horror, they had no more than 15 usable seconds amidst 11,000 hours of footage. What does a full season hold? Melo and LaLa playing Monopoly? LaLa teaching Melo how to read? The purchase of Kiyan’s first gold chain? A dramatic re-creation of LaLa’s stressful day of being forced to wake up before noon? The father and son tattoo adventure? All and more, along with Melo’s eventual trade to New York, at last relieving Denver of the biggest baby since Jay Cutler and his diapers were shipped out of town. But as much as I’d like to think that they’ll get theirs in the end, “theirs” just might be the fame and fortune they’ve always coveted, with Melo’s Times Square billboards being trumped by LaLa’s battles with the paparazzi. Fair enough on all counts, so long as Melo is forever and always denied a championship. Sure, a season finale whereby LaLa has acid thrown in her face by a crazed fan might generate a hard-on or two on this end, but above all, Mr. Anthony must end his days bereft. A loser. An empty millionaire, eventually forced into bankruptcy after buying one gold bathtub too many.