When you take the vow of marriage, you pledge to support your partner in their endeavors, whether they win or lose. But Vanessa Bryant tells New York Magazine, in light of the sacrifices husband Kobe Bryant makes for that coveted championship win, she has little patience for potential losses: “I certainly would not want to be married to somebody that can’t win championships. If you’re sacrificing time away from my family and myself for the benefit of winning championships, then winning a championship should happen every single year.”

For her, the win makes the sacrifice worth it. But it also infers that her husband would have to win championships, or come close to it, to get her support. Would a partner who sacrificed time away from family and didn’t win championships be supported by her?

Many see her statement as evidence that she’s with Kobe for the wrong reasons: the glory, the attention, the accolades, the payback for sacrifice. Maybe that’s one of the reasons she has been able to stay in their relationship for so long, despite Kobe’s infidelity and physical absence from their lives, due to his demanding work schedule.

NBA players have to know the women they marry could be there for the wrong reasons, whether it be for money or glory or fame. When the championship wins have ceased and the money stops flowing as freely, will the foundation be strong enough that the relationship lasts? For many NBA couples, that answer is no, rendering marriage a losing game.

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