INDEPENDENCE: He’s undeterred by the 72-day marriage of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries.
He’s unfazed by the bickering on Basketball Wives.
He might even have been caught watching a few minutes of La La’s Full Court Wedding.
Cavaliers guard Daniel “Boobie” Gibson is smitten – with his new wife, singer/songwriter Keyshia Cole, their nearly 2-year-old son Daniel Jr. and by a chance to be on reality television.
In fact, Gibson and Cole even got married twice because of it.
During the NBA lockout, Gibson enjoyed a few unorthodox pursuits, including training in a Houston boxing ring to improve his hand speed and endurance. But he also participated in the wrap-up of a reality show Cole already had in production entitled Family First.
“It’s about me playing basketball, her singing and us raising a son at the same time,” Gibson said Saturday after practice at Cleveland Clinic Courts. “It’s a pretty nice thing.”
This is Cole’s second foray into the genre. According to her website, Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is was the most-watched series in the history of Black Entertainment Television during its 2006-2008 run. It is still listed on BET.com with a poll on whether viewers are in favor of a fourth season. (As of Saturday, the response was 97 percent yes.)
Gibson said when and where Family First will run has not been finalized.
“They’re still bidding for it as far as networks go,” he said. “It should air sometime around February. We’re still putting the finishing touches on it.”
Their wedding in Hawaii is among the episodes. He said he and Cole were officially married on May 21, but the ceremony was reshot for television on Sept. 25.
“It’s very special,” Gibson said of the show. “It’s real unique to see our situation and see where we both have come from, how far we’ve come and where we’re trying to go. It’s beautiful.”
Their paths couldn’t have been more diverse.
Growing up in Oakland, Calif., Cole was adopted as a child. Her brother Sean sparked her interest in music and she persuaded MC Hammer to put her in a studio at age 12. When she broke up with her boyfriend at age 16, she got in her car and left the Bay Area, headed for Los Angeles.
Her recording career has brought her four Grammy nominations, two No. 1 R&B/hip-hop albums and seven No. 1 singles, two of them platinum.
Raised in Houston in a two-parent household, Gibson graduated sixth in his Jones High School class of 212 students and was a member of the National Honor Society. A McDonald’s All-America, he was the city’s all-time leading scorer when he left for the University of Texas. He was drafted by the Cavs in the second round in 2006.
On her website, Cole said she “wasn’t that optimistic about finding true love” until she met Gibson. He said she moved in with him in Cleveland when they got engaged and has suggested maintaining a permanent home in Northeast Ohio.
“She loves it here,” Gibson said. “The snow, it snowing during Christmas, all that’s beautiful to her. She thinks when I’m done playing basketball, we may end up having a place here for good.”
Gibson said the transition to married life has been easy because he and Cole were best friends before they got serious.
“Now we just took it to a whole ’nother level,” he said. “We enjoy each other’s company, we do everything together, so it isn’t any big thing.”
There are no arguments over routine chores like taking out the trash, he said.
“We’ve got everything ironed out,” he said. “We pretty much know the routine. What I like, what she likes, what she doesn’t like, what I don’t like, we make it work.”
He was baffled when asked how long his “honey-do list” was during the recently concluded NBA lockout.
“My honey-do list? What is that?” he asked. “I’m missing out on something. I need to know something.”
Told what the expression meant, Gibson said, “Aw, my honey-do list ain’t that long. She doesn’t do me like that. She knows what we do out here. … Pretty cool. That’s why I love her.”
Gibson is so enveloped in the throes of love that he isn’t worried about whether coach Byron Scott will use him at point guard or shooting guard this season.
“I’ll just leave that to Coach Scott,” he said. “Every time I get out there, I go 110 and let him figure out where he wants to play me.
“We had a lot of time this summer to work and hone skills and continue to get better. Wherever I’m placed on the floor, I think I can be very effective.”
Some of his summer included work on his explosiveness and ball-handling – in front of the television cameras. But neither Scott nor Gibson seems worried about a possible distraction if the reality show airs during the season. Neither anticipates weekly postings on TMZ or tabloid headlines following each episode.
“I hope not. I hope it’s all in good fun,” Scott said.
“I told him I’m not going to be part of that. I might just on one show show him that coach is still the best shooter in the gym.”
Gibson isn’t afraid of the pitfalls brought by a reality show, like what happened to Kardashian and Humphries. Secure in his relationship with Cole, Gibson makes the show almost sound fit for the Disney Channel.
“Me and Key, there’s nothing superficial or fake about us,” Gibson said. “So whatever we do, we wouldn’t mind putting it in front of the fans. We’re just being who we are. That’s the fun thing about it.”
Gibson could make a name for himself in the reality world. The opening night for Khloe and Lamar, starring another Kardashian sister and her husband, Lamar Odom (traded Saturday from the L.A. Lakers to the Dallas Mavericks), drew 2.6 million viewers, according to Variety. That was 835 percent more than the average Lakers home game on Fox Sports Net West, according to Sports Business Daily.
But Gibson isn’t trying to keep up with the Kardashians. It sounds as if he and Cole have a more important message in mind.
Marla Ridenour can be reached at email@example.com. Read her blog at http://marla.ohio.com/. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MarlaRidenour.