Tami Roman Shares How Basketball Wives Ruined Shaunie O’Neal Friendship: “The Last Two Seasons Made Me Feel Like It Wasn’t Any Reciprocity”
Tami Roman sat with Married to Medicine star Dr. Heavenly Kimes for a YouTube Live chat on Friday, and during their conversation about relationships and career moves, Tami was asked was asked about her time on Basketball Wives. She did address past drama on the show, but despite it, Tami said she doesn’t have all bad things to say about her experience on the hit VH1 reality series.
“I liked my time on Basketball Wives. I enjoyed it,” she said. “I think that in the past two seasons the dynamic of the show changed for me and it wasn’t fun to go to work.”
Tami said that cast additions over the years left a bad taste in her mouth, and we know she bumped heads with not only Evelyn Lozada, who returned to the show in 2017, but she also had to check Season 8 newbie Feby Torres for unwarranted ageist comments. However, Tami gave the impression that if certain people were gone, she wouldn’t mind coming back around.
“The cast changes or the cast additions just wasn’t an environment that I wanted to be in any longer,” she said. “If they made cast changes, yeah, because I liked it. I liked most of the girls on there. But they’re not asking me and I’m not answering. They’re happy I’m gone and I’m happy to be gone.”
Instead, Tami has moved on to a number of TV projects, including The Family Business on BET, Saints & Sinners on Bounce, Truth Be Told on Apple TV+ and her Bonnet Chronicles web videos. She also has a pilot that she said was recently picked up, so it’s safe to say Tami doesn’t need Basketball Wives.
“I wouldn’t use the verbiage that I’ve outgrown it, but I would say there are more things I want to do than just be on reality TV,” she said. “I think that I started in this business as an actress before I even returned to reality TV. So I just feel like there are more avenues I could go into if I were not on the show.”
Tami said one thing she did outgrow though, in a way, is her friendship with Shaunie O’Neal. Despite the women appearing to be close over the years, Tami said she realized, seemingly with the return of Evelyn, that Shaunie didn’t consider her a friend in the way she once believed.
“I thought that Shaunie and I were real friends. I think that I put more weight and more value on the friendship than she actually was doing,” she said. “From my standpoint, I really loved and respected Shaunie a great deal. And so the last two seasons made me feel like it wasn’t any reciprocity. You gotta acknowledge that and honor it. If people don’t f–k with you like that they just don’t f–k with you. No harm, no foul. But I just realized that it wasn’t that deep for her.”
When asked by Dr. Heavenly if she believes that reality TV messes up friendships, Tami said “absolutely.”
“I think if it didn’t have a strong foundation, and sometimes when it does have a strong foundation, people get on TV, and the thing that’s different with reality TV is the world weighs in,” Tami said. “So even if it’s two friends and they get in a little kerfuffle, they could probably still be friends if it wasn’t for that instant judgment and opinions and voices saying, ‘Oh, she did this.’ Then you get home and you’re like damn, should I view it that way? You get in your feelings, and before you know it, you aren’t friends anymore. So I think it ruins relationships and it can ruin friendships.”
This isn’t the first time Tami touched on her tainted relationship with Shaunie. While speaking to Keyshia Cole on her Fox Soul show back in February, Tami revealed that they were not on good terms anymore.
“I thought in my mind that we were close. I thought that we had a camaraderie and a sisterhood and a mutual respect for each other,” she said at the time. “I found out over the past three seasons that the lack of friendship was shown rather than the sisterhood as it pertained to me, which was unfortunate because I care for Shaunie.”
Shaunie is, of course, an executive producer on the program. Tami appeared on the initial Miami installment from 2010 to 2013, joined Basketball Wives LA in 2015, and ended her time on the show (after the city franchises were combined) in 2019.