by Lang Whitaker

News broke over the weekend that former NBA fixture Glen Rice had been involved in a rather bizarre domestic dispute. According to news reports, Glen Rice went to the home of his former wife, Christina Fernandez Rice, and he allegedly beat a man he found hiding in her closet.

We hear about athletes getting in trouble all too often, and usually we process the information and walk away. But for SLAM readers aware of their SLAM history, Glen Rice’s Wife resurfacing in the news was too good to be true.

I asked former SLAM editor-in-chief Tony Gervino to explain the significance…

by Tony Gervino

It was the pants. Surely, that is what drove the SLAM staff to put the former Mrs. Glen Rice, a.k.a. Glen Rice’s Wife (GRW), on such a lofty pedestal from which her husband’s habitual (and somewhat determined) sucking at basketball could not displace her.

Let me set the scene: All-Star Weekend ’96 in Phoenix. Russ and I were trolling around the arena during the NBA photo shoots that take place, basically doing as much networking as two scrubby looking guys with a sports magazine that used words like “d*ckhead” and “douchebag” could do.

In a conference room down in the arena’s bowels, defending three-point champion Glen Rice was being shot in the typical NBA poses: one-hand on hip; both hands on hips; from behind, looking over his shoulder; and my favorite, pointing one’s thumb at oneself with a wink. (The fact that Kevin Garnett almost beat me down with his shoe when we ran that pose on the cover of a KICKS issue is besides the point: it was still pure NBA magic.)

Just then we heard giggling coming down the hallway, followed by a banging sound. It was clear that whoever it was had created quite an impression on the NBA photos folks lurking in the corridor. Just then, Cristina Fernandez (GRW) and two friends burst into the makeshift photo studio. Glen had just finished phoning in those stupid poses when the trio of lovelies hopped up on the pedestal and began posing themselves. It was then that I noticed her pants: chocolate brown velvet with not an inch of extra material. I mean, basically a second skin. It was…terrifying and monumental.

Just after Russ regained consciousness, we strolled over to say hello, knowing full well that her husband could have killed us with Kendall Gill’s hairbrush. She was very nice and funny and super good looking and it wasn’t until we got back to the SLAM Dome that we realized that she became part of our family. That summer, the weather was “warmer than Glen Rice’s wife”; when a player’s shot was falling, he was “hotter than Glen Rice’s wife.” We didn’t just beat a dead horse in those days, we torched the corpse. And blew up the stable.

Shortly thereafter, the SLAM staff (Anna, Russ and I) began to sprinkle her into the magazine as well, and the readers quickly picked up on it—being that they were fourteen and smart—and began a letter-writing campaign urging us to run a photo of GRW (this was before Google and all that sh*t.) We began referring to Glen Rice as “Glen Rice’s Wife’s husband.” It was a heady time, for sure.

And then the strike/lock-out that nearly killed SLAM took hold. We were willing to do anything to keep our jobs, short of getting between Garry St. Jean and a bowl of shrimp. Or attending a Nets game.

It was around that time that we conceptualized the famous Iverson throwback cover and we desperately needed cover lines. We ran a feature on Glen Rice (that’s how desperate we, in fact, were) and decided to ruin the only perfect joke we had ever had by running a photo of Glen Rice’s Wife. She looked awesome, and it was worth it for all of two weeks, but then it was over. Because reality is never as good as fantasy.

Years later, I was at a Knicks-Lakers game with my wife, sitting down by the court, so close that I saw Jay-Z tip the server, Nutricia (I’ll never forget that name) a dollar. Lo and behold, GRW walks up with her kid and sits down next to us. (That was when Glen was still ruining the Knicks, understand.)

I didn’t tell her who I was, not that she would have cared anyway, but as I watched her watch her husband suck and saw how she mothered her child, I felt the kind of guilt that only a pussy liberal from New York could feel. We had objectified her, plain and simple. Perhaps she was a doctor, a lawyer, a small business owner or even a Bud Girl, and we basically whittled her down to a hot woman. That was it. And we used it as a joke for over a year.

Two seconds later, Kobe Bryant’s Wife walked by wearing (although ‘owning’ would probably be a better term) some white pants and I spilled the rest of my beer all over my lap and, to a lesser extent, Glen Rice’s Wife’s pants.

Circle of life.