"Basketball Wives" should only feature the WIVES of basketball players ... and NOT random "hos" ... so says former cast member Laura Govan who says the recent crop of women are ruining the reality show.
Govan -- who was axed from the show after Season 2 -- tells us she's got a serious beef with show creator Shaunie O'Neal ... explaining, "I feel like she didn't keep [the show] in the basketball creed."
"She shoulda kept 'Basketball Wives,' basketball wives" ... adding, "There coulda been a 'Housewives or a Ho' show for everybody else later."
Clearly, Laura is talking about cast members like Draya Michele (ex-GF of football player Orlando Scandrick) and Sunday Carter (who reportedly had a daughter with married ex-NBA star Larry Hughes.)
FYI -- Laura doesn't exactly fit the mold herself ... 'cause she ain't a basketball "wife" either -- even though she's been engaged to Gilbert Arenas off and on for years.