VIBE caught up with Laura Govan of Basketball Wives LA. The feisty mother, big sister and soon to be wife is no holds barred with her feelings. Here she breaks down what she describes as Jackie’s “crazy,” how she lost 80lbs with 12 minute workouts, “blacklash,” her decision to reunite with Gilbert Arenas and her softer, more charitable side.
What do you hope people took away from you on Basketball Wives?
I don’t really care what people took away because people form their own opinions and it’s hard because initially, it’s almost like you want to not like me at first but them you’re like, “Damn she’s cool!” So many people went based off of what they heard about me that was bad and I just showcased who I am so people can actually judge me and make a judgment call not off of rumors. Now, what they show and what they edit is two different things but as far as how I came across, that’s just who I am. I kept it 100 across the board and that’s just how I am. So you either like me or you don’t.
You seem to be one of the most cognizant people on reality TV as far as your behavior. That said, it seemed like the fight with Malaysia triggered something in you where you tried to evolve into a different person.
It just shows I had a lot of emotion. I took my aggression out, and we moved on from it. I’m not proud of it but it’s emotion and I acted on it and then after that we just kept it moving. As far as who I am or how I’m portrayed and who I became, it was a transition and I think everybody goes through times of transition in their life and I just happened to do that. I had just had a baby, it was my fourth baby in five years and so I had a lot of stuff coming at me, I had a lot going on in my life. That fight had nothing to do with Malaysia; I love Malaysia. That fight was just a misfocus and I want everybody to know that you don’t necessarily have to get physical, although sometimes you go, “Damn I needed that!” You can go to a boxing match, you can go work out—there’s so many other outlets to get aggression out but it just happened the way it did. And to see where I am today, from where I was then, I’m still the same person. I show all of who I am, you get every avenue. If I need to I’ll fight or defend myself then that’s what it is, if I have to take up for myself and say what I want to say then that’s what it is. I’m like that in the store. I’m like that in target [laughs].
It’s obvious that you’re very competitive, so how did that work for your recent weight loss?
I played basketball all my life, I even played at a professional level. I blew my knees out and the coach in college didn’t want me to come back too early. So I stayed in my dorm room for like six weeks and they thought I was resting but nobody knew that the whole time I was just training. I was in this cubicle and I was doing a 12-minute regimen every day. I worked out in my room as hard as I could. I was using the phone cord to do jump rope, I bought Tide bottles and was using those to lift weights—I was doing curls with my arms. I had these 12-minute regimens that I was doing in the morning and at night. That’s what I was doing this time around, because with four children I don’t have time. So, when I get up I take those 12 minutes and start doing those workouts and it works for me. On top of that I breast feed and on top of that it was a lot of water, but I did lose 80 lbs and I do attribute it to what I started doing on my own. That’s something that I’m gonna come out with a dvd for.
What’s your diet like?
My diet is terrible. I’m not even gonna lie. I eat a lot of junk food. I eat a lot of Oreos; I’m a snacker. I’ll snack all day but I do eat a lot of nuts and salad with some chicken or some steak, and it’s not like give me a little steak salad, I’m like put that whole steak on that salad and I’ll eat it all! But I just maintain. Right now I’m a size four and I think when I first started the show I was a size 14. It’s also attributed to good genes. I hate when people sit up here and say yeah girl, I don’t do nothing—shut the hell up! There are things that I do and I’m definitely gonna share but not just yet. I’ll put it on dvd and then I’m gonna share.
Imani lost a lot of weight too, did you have anything to do with that?
We motivate each other but Imani did that on her own. She’s amazing. A lot of people give her a lot of backlash, I call it black lash but she’s my homie. She’s dedicated, she works hard and she looks hella good. I’m really proud of Imani.
It’s interesting that you said “blacklash.” Do you feel that Basketball Wives and even Real Housewives of Atlanta or even the Love and Hip-Hop women get more criticism from people than say the Beverly Hills housewives or other White women on similar reality TV shows?
I think we all contribute to the same drama but our stuff is portrayed as ghetto. With White people it’s like, they have money. So, it’s kind of messed up because the way it’s portrayed is jacked up but for the most part we’re doing the same thing they’re doing but we get it harder. And then we’re so hard on each other as women. As Black people it’s hard to succeed or get anywhere. From what I see, White people support each other and you don’t see a lot of Black people supporting each other. I think if we all came together and supported one another we could be running this on some other stuff.
Speaking of support, you’re back with Gilbert Arenas. You guys have been off and on for so long so what was different this time?
It’s cliché to say it’s because he’s the father of my children—that’s always a good thing but I will say I actually like him. I like the person that he his. I don’t like the person that he is sometimes but I like him for the most part. I will always love him and that’s hard to come by. It had been a long time and then we saw each other. He came to see the kids and it was just on from there. We came to this place and it was on a different level. It was just growth and maturity. People are like, “Oh, it’s dysfunctional,” but the person who’s writing this sh*t and talking about it—their sh*t is dysfunctional too, it’s just that ours is shown. It’s like, let’s go see your world and what your sh*t is looking like, I bet you it’s raggedy too! But at the end of the day at least we support each other and we’re doing better than most couples so we keep it moving, that’s how I feel.