A year after officially filing for divorce from her NBA star husband, the 40-year-old revealed what she believed contributed to the downfall of their union. During an appearance on the Call Her Daddy podcast, La La said things began to shift when Carmelo was traded from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks in 2011, bringing much more attention to the couple.
"When we lived here [in New York] under all of that, that's when things became complicated," she shared on the podcast's Oct. 26 episode. "Now that I look back, that was kind of the start of the demise of the marriage."
She continued, "It is the hardest with the scrutiny and the media and the press, just everything. It is really hard. That's not the only reason things didn't work out, but things got tough with New York, just constantly being under the spotlight and people watching every little thing."
Carmelo's travel schedule also contributed to La La's many "sleepless nights," she said, particularly when the NBA star would play in cities that she believes have a reputation for athletes' infidelities.
"I used to think certain cities, like oh, ‘Those are the problem cities.' Miami, I'd be like, ‘Oh, I'm definitely not sleeping tonight or I'm going to figure out a way to get there,'" she recalled. "But here's what I found out. Be careful with these other cities that you think don't have as much going on, because those are the ones guys where the s–-t is going down."
E! News has reached out to Carmelo's reps but has not received a comment.
In April 2017, E! News confirmed that La La and Carmelo, 38, broke up after seven years of marriage. Days after news broke of their split, the La La's Full Court Life star stepped out without her 20-carat diamond wedding ring as reports surfaced alleging the athlete impregnated another woman. (Sources close to Carmelo denied the validity of such claims to E! News at the time and no such child has ever been confirmed.)
Lala officially filed for divorce in June 2021. At the time her rep explained, "As La La and Carmelo have been living apart for quite some time, La La is proceeding with legal discussions as the next step in their relationship."
"I was bad because it was public," she shared during a 2021 interview with The Angie Martinez Show. "I was bad because there were other people involved. I was bad because there were allegations. It got bad."
She continued, "That s--t hit me really hard. I wasn't expecting it. Even a lawyer said once, 'Well, he's a basketball player—what did you expect?' And I'm like, 'To be honest, I didn't expect that. I didn't go into this marriage expecting that.' So I was caught off guard."
While her marriage to Carmelo didn't work out, La La doesn't believe that all relationships involving a professional athlete are doomed to fail, citing her best friend Ciara and her NFL star Russell Wilson who have been married since 2016.
"They have an incredible bond, something I've never seen before," La La said on her recent Call Her Daddy appearance. "I'm so happy to even witness it because it makes me feel like, ‘Oh wow, that type of love really does exist,' because I didn't think it did for a long time."
She added, "So it's not across the board, so I can only speak to my experience."