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Celebrity Slam - Snaking care of business

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We strive to be equal opportunity trash-talkers here at Celebrity Slam. Our goal is to treat every famous person – and every foible – with the same level of scorn and derision. Of course, some items are more worthy of our attentions than others, but we do our best to keep things fair.

That said, it’s not like we can avoid having our favorites – we’re only human after all. And there are certain behaviors that we particularly enjoy mocking. It’s all fair game, obviously, but there are some things that hit us just right.

We love a good celebrity portmanteau, of course. We are always here for a “Don’t you know who I am?” or any of its infinite permutations. And there’s something lovely about a rich and famous person getting called out for not paying what they owe.

This week’s story – involving NBA player Dwight Howard – falls into that last category.

A suit was recently filed against Howard by two women claiming that he failed to pay them for services provided. Services that included – but were not limited to – caring for his collection of exotic snakes.


According to the filing, Armica Nabaa and Kamisha Shelman were hired by Howard in December of 2018 to provide personal management services. Initially, the understanding was that they would be dealing with business and administrative tasks, but as time went on, the two found their list of duties steadily growing in some … odd … directions.

For instance, Howard allegedly fired his household staff not long after hiring the two women. The groundskeeper, the butler, the maid – all let go, with Nabaa and Shelman expected to take on their duties of running Howard’s 35,000 square foot domicile.

All that is bad enough, but then you factor in the fact that one of their new duties was the care and feeding of Howard’s exotic snake collection. Now, this is a LARGE collection, and in more than one sense of the word – large in number, sure, but also physically large; one of the snakes is a constrictor named Cleopatra that apparently tips the scales at 200 pounds.

There’s an argument to made that if you take a check, you do the job. Sure – except Howard allegedly fired them in January of this year while still owing them a ton of money for services rendered and basically just didn’t pay them.

As a delightful cherry atop this s—t sundae, Shelman alleges that her connections played a significant part in Howard landing his contract with the Lakers. According to her, he even thanked her and gave her partial credit for the deal during a national TV interview.

The pair are seeking at least $50,000 in unpaid wages, plus other fees and damages.

Now, we can’t say for certain that Howard is in the wrong here. It’s possible that these two are just opportunists looking for a score. Possible, yeah, but likely? Don’t know about that.

Look, we’re probably going to attract unwanted attention from the snake-hoarding community for this take, but here it is: We have no problem assuming that if you’re the kind of weirdo who collects two dozen snakes, you’re capable of anything – and that includes not paying your bills.

And make no mistake, Howard is an undeniable weirdo, the kind of dude who has thoroughly alienated almost everyone he has ever played with over the course of a long NBA career. Long and lucrative – this is a dude who has made in the neighborhood of $250 million in salary alone over his 16 years in the league.

Come on, Dwight – you’ve pulled a quarter-billion and you can’t be bothered to pay the people who work for you? Sure, this is standard-issue rich-guy bullcrap; we get it, rich dudes LOVE to not pay people if they can get away from it. But you made these women take care of your snakes, man.

They took care of your snakes.

Again, we don’t know that these allegations are true. Innocent until proven guilty and all that. But at the risk of falling prey to the brain-rot idiocy permeating our current culture … they sure as heck FEEL true. Man up, Dwight. Do the right thing.

Won’t someone think of the snakes?

Last modified on Wednesday, 16 December 2020 08:38


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