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La La Anthony: Not Your Average Sports Wife

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Curled up on the plush sofa in the den of her brand-new Manhattan duplex on a sweltering summer afternoon, La La Anthony is happy to kick off her Christian Louboutins and relax. The TV personality has already raced to a meeting about a children’s book she’s writing with her NBA star husband, Carmelo Anthony, posed for a PEOPLE photo shoot and helped her 4-year-old son Kiyan hunt for a missing X-Men toy. Next up is a session with her acting coach. “Melo and I have come a long way,” says the former MTV VJ. “It’s kind of cool.”

Cool-but chaotic. For the past several months, La La, 32, has been filming her VH1 show La La’s Full Court Life while juggling motherhood and her acting career. In the middle of it all, she had to pack up the family’s home in Denver and move back to New York City-where both she and Carmelo, 27, were born-after her husband was unexpectedly traded to the Knicks in February. “It was exciting but stressful,” she says. “I was thinking of places to live and schools for Kiyan, and Melo was on the road. It was overwhelming.”

And cameras were there to capture all the drama. “There were times I felt like I needed a moment [alone], but that’s what everyone wants to see,” she says. “We worked through it.”

After living in a hotel for two months, La La finally found her dream home: a three-bedroom Manhattan pad with extra-high ceilings (after all, Carmelo is 6’8″) and a private roof deck. “It looked different than it does now,” she says of the apartment, where 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan lived previously. “But I could tell I could turn it into something [special].”

To do so, she enlisted the help of interior designer Alicia Lamar, who transformed the apartment into a luxurious nest reminiscent of the Anthonys’ L.A. house, with purple walls, regal chandeliers and intricate detailing. “I want it to look nice, but not like you can’t touch anything,” La La says. “I want people to feel like they can have a great time.” Adds Carmelo: “It represents La’s and my personality. It’s a spot where we can get away from everything.” They also converted the third bedroom into a walk-in closet. “We didn’t have a choice!” laughs La La. “And Melo by far has even more stuff than I do.”

Now the Anthonys-who dated for seven years before marrying last year in a star-studded ceremony at New York’s Cipriani restaurant-are settled in and enjoying their time with family and famous friends. “Kiyan loves 50 Cent; I had 50 tell him, ‘Never sing my songs,’ ” La La says. “And he has the biggest crush on Nicki Minaj! He’s like, ‘Mommy, will you call her and tell her to pick me up?’ ” La La is also excited about two new acting roles: the upcoming comedy film Think Like a Man and a stint in the off-Broadway show Love, Loss and What I Wore, beginning in October. “I never could have imagined it all,” she says with a smile. “But I don’t have much to complain about!”