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  #1  
Old 01-03-2001, 09:03 AM
TheMadHun TheMadHun is offline
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Have they ever been a professional basketball team? Have they ever competed in the NBA or any other pro league? Or are they just a touring side, a basketballing sideshow? If so, who would want to play for them? Anybody? Cheers!
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2001, 09:18 AM
mongrel_8 mongrel_8 is offline
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This doesn't help the OP any but they always play the Washington Colonels (I think) and I remember a few years ago the Colonels actually beat the Globetrotters. Excellent question though.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2001, 09:29 AM
MsRobyn MsRobyn is online now
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This being the Information Age, the Harlem Globetrotters have a website that lists their entire history, starting in 1926, when Abe Saperstein started the Globetrotters' predecessor, the Savoy Big Five, named after the ballroom in Chicago.

And, BTW, they play the Washington Generals.

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  #4  
Old 01-03-2001, 09:31 AM
King Rat King Rat is offline
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Doesn't answser the question, but an interesting piece of trivia: The only number they "retired" was the number worn by Wilt Chamberlain. They did this when Chamberlain died suddenly a couple of years ago.

My favorites were Curly Neal and Meadowlark Lemon.
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2001, 09:33 AM
TheMadHun TheMadHun is offline
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Thanks for that. I already visited their site. My question was prompted by my friend's assertion that they had somehow been banned from playing in a pro league because they were "too good". The website makes no mention of anything other than touring. Which brings me to the seond question, why would any basketball player of some degree of skill choose to play exhibition basketball?
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2001, 09:36 AM
Morrison's Lament Morrison's Lament is offline
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I recommend the site, but without looking I'm gonna take a stab at it.

If I can remember correctly they did play in the ABA or some other ill-fated attempt at a basketball league, before going on the road. Wilt Chamberlain also played for them, but I believe that was at a time when they were a roadshow like today.

Hehe, yeah, they have lost once. When they came to my local town I remember the newspapers bringing it up, it was apparently an accident. Someone was supposed to win the game with a fantastic but well planned last shot or dunk.

Would love an .avi or something though, even a date.

Just didn't go in, even after all that planning, muhahaha, now there's a bummer
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2001, 09:37 AM
TheMadHun TheMadHun is offline
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I have just been informed, albeit bluntly, by another friend "they're good at tricks, crap at basketball, last time they played a real team they got gubbed". "gubbed" being a quaint Scottish colloquialism for "severely beaten".
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  #8  
Old 01-03-2001, 09:40 AM
delphica delphica is offline
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There is an interesting article here:

http://www.africana.com/tt_059.htm
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  #9  
Old 01-03-2001, 09:43 AM
Starbury Starbury is offline
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Actually, the Globetrotters are pretty fundamentally sound in terms of their basketball skills. They often go through their usual "comedy" routine for 3 quarters or so, but when they actually play for real, they're pretty good.

At the beginning of the NCAA season this year, the globetrotters played against Michigan State (last year's NCAA champion)...the game was pretty close, though the globetrotters did lose (I think they only lost by two points, but I can't find the score anywhere).

Recently, a couple of NBA players have played with the globetrotters. One of them is a backup center for the Phoenix Suns, who played with them during the summer after he finished college (I forget which one though...maybe Llamas).
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  #10  
Old 01-03-2001, 09:45 AM
Morrison's Lament Morrison's Lament is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheMadHun
Thanks for that. I already visited their site. My question was prompted by my friend's assertion that they had somehow been banned from playing in a pro league because they were "too good". The website makes no mention of anything other than touring. Which brings me to the seond question, why would any basketball player of some degree of skill choose to play exhibition basketball?
Hehe, I remember similar assertions going around when I was a kid and they came to town.

The thing about the Globetrotters is that they do tricks, they don't actually PLAY basketball. Their opponents are in on it and it's all a big fake, more like a circus act than a sport really. (That's not to say it can't be entertaining).

If you can't get a break in the pro leagues (like when Wilt was too young to play proball) it's a good place to hang out and train your skills on a salary, plus you get to see the world and you get that silly song on the brain!

I remember this REALLY fat and REALLY old guy who was on the team for years. My uncle had seen them before and he couldn't stop laughing when they came back and the same old fat guy was still on the team! He would howl out: "Ahahahahahaha, so ol' fat guy got a little too ol' and fat, AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!!"

Ahh.. memories

Hope no one beats me to typing the answer this time!

--- G. Raven
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2001, 09:49 AM
TheMadHun TheMadHun is offline
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Thanks delphica, just what I was looking for. So I guess "basketballing sideshow" is about right then.
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  #12  
Old 01-03-2001, 10:03 AM
delphica delphica is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheMadHun
Thanks delphica, just what I was looking for. So I guess "basketballing sideshow" is about right then.
No problem

Basketballing sideshow is probably about right for them now. It's also probably important to remember that in the 1930s and 1940s (when they did win titles such as "World Professional Basketball Championship" and defeated teams that would later become NBA teams) many extremely talented players who happened to be black played for the Globetrotters because it was one of the places that they could play. The transition from professional basketball team to wacky basketball entertainers happened in the 1950s, from what I can glean from these web pages.
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2001, 10:10 AM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is online now
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While the Globetrotters nowadays probably would have a hard time competing with the pros, this wasn't always so. Back in the 40s, when the NBA was just getting off the ground, they could play with any pro team, which the proved by beating the NBA champ Minneapolis Lakers and George Mikan. Remember, too, back then the NBA was all-white.

They started out as a regular barnstorming team, playing pickup games and trying to win them. As time went by, they began to develop routines, especially since they usually won against any local competition. Eventually this evolved into pure entertainment. The Washington Generals are only there so that there will be another team on the court.
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2001, 11:20 AM
CurtC CurtC is online now
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From The Simpsons' episode where Krusty the Klown has a gambling problem:

Krusty's Financial Planner: You bet against the Harlem Globetrotters?!?

Krusty: I thought the Generals were due!
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2001, 11:48 AM
SuaSponte SuaSponte is offline
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Most of the players came out of the college ranks - fundamentally sound players, but not quite good enough to play in the pros. Given the choice of playing in the CBA or going to Europe, the Globetrotters is probably a good gig.
The excellence they show on the court is as much from choreography as basketball skills, but they need decent skills to make the choreography work.
Against a pro team, they'd probably account themselves pretty well, but lose. Of course, they'd slaughter the Clippers .

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  #16  
Old 01-03-2001, 11:49 AM
Gadarene Gadarene is offline
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FWIW, the Globetrotters have two teams, one for touring and one for competitive exhibitions. The exhibition team is the one that played against Michigan State.
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  #17  
Old 01-03-2001, 12:26 PM
kpm kpm is offline
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Both Globetrotter teams tour around the country. If you check their schedule they often play in 2 different cities on the same night.
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  #18  
Old 01-03-2001, 01:24 PM
c_goat c_goat is offline
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Are they going to be in the upcoming Scooby-Doo movie?

That's the first site I found by the way, not necessarily the best.
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  #19  
Old 01-03-2001, 02:18 PM
Mr. Cynical Mr. Cynical is offline
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The Globetrotters will be on ESPN Classic January 7th. Enjoy the show, and determine the skills they posess from the demonstration.

Secondly, every baby born in the year 2000 is entitled to a lifetime pass to Harlem Globetrotters shows. Free, even. I picked one up for Mini Cyni, and plan to use it when he's older.
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  #20  
Old 01-03-2001, 02:50 PM
mobo85 mobo85 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CurtC
From The Simpsons' episode where Krusty the Klown has a gambling problem:

Krusty's Financial Planner: You bet against the Harlem Globetrotters?!?

Krusty: I thought the Generals were due!
And Homer's appropriate comparison from this season:

Ahh, the Luftwaffe. The Washington Generals of the History Channel.
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  #21  
Old 01-04-2001, 08:58 AM
Morrison's Lament Morrison's Lament is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Cynical
The Globetrotters will be on ESPN Classic January 7th. Enjoy the show, and determine the skills they posess from the demonstration.

Secondly, every baby born in the year 2000 is entitled to a lifetime pass to Harlem Globetrotters shows. Free, even. I picked one up for Mini Cyni, and plan to use it when he's older.
ARGH!!!!!! DAMNIT!!! I missed that kind of a chance!?!?

I mean, even though I'm kinda young, being only 20 years old, and I am living and studying in China, and I have no girlfriend, nor do I have any wishes for children and no means at all to support them... I COULD HAVE OVERCOME THOSE THINGS IF SOMEONE HAD TOLD ME EARLIER!!!

Now I'm gonna have to father some poor 2001 bastard that'll probably just get me tickets to see the Generals solo performance...

--- G. Raven
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  #22  
Old 01-04-2001, 10:39 AM
sdimbert sdimbert is offline
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FWIW, the Generals have won more than once. Not many, many times, but certainly more than once.

In this thread, Mojo quotes from harlemglobetrotters.com:
Quote:
Have the Globetrotters ever lost a game?

Yes. In fact, the Globetrotters have lost 332 games over the course of 74 years. However, with over 20,000 wins, the Globetrotters do own the best winning percentage in the history of professional sports. The last time the team lost was Sept. 12, 1995, in Vienna, Austria, when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's Legendary All-Stars upset the Globetrotters 91-85 and made headlines around the world.
I tried to search Cecil's collumns, but the server is wacky.
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  #23  
Old 01-04-2001, 11:08 AM
Ogre Ogre is offline
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Oh, they're skilled players all right...

...and damned fine athletes, as well. This is from http://www.harlemglobetrotters.com:

Quote:
For over seven decades, the Harlem Globetrotters have impacted the sport of basketball around the world. The Globetrotters were instrumental in the development of the fast-break offense, the slam dunk, the development of a scouting system to recruit players, and introduced the figure-eight "weave" offense. Recently, the Globetrotters have amazed fans by setting world records in the vertical slam dunk, climbing to seemingly impossible heights. Listed below are the incredible heights the Harlem Globetrotters have reached in the vertical dunk. Keep in mind that a regulation basketball hoop stands at 10-feet.

APRIL 1, 2000:
During halftime of the NABC All-Star Game, Michael "Wild Thing" Wilson breaks his own world record in the vertical slam dunk by successfully dunking on a 12-foot basket. The event, which took place at Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse, marked the Harlem Globetrotters' first-ever appearance at Final Four Weekend. Wilson's record dunk was captured and televised nationally on Fox Sports Net.

FEBRUARY 16, 1997:

Sean "Elevator" Williams and Fred "Preacher" Smith successfully dunked at 12 feet at New York's Madison Square Garden, however it was an unofficial attempt at the world record.

JANUARY 25, 1997:

At Minneapolis' Target Center, Michael "Wild Thing" Wilson and Sean "Elevator" Williams successfully dunked at 12 feet, however it was an unofficial attempt at the world record.

SEPTEMBER 16, 1996:

Michael "Wild Thing" Wilson and Sean "Elevator" Williams establish new record of 11 feet, 8 inches at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Fla. The old mark was 11 feet, 7 inches, held by former Arizona State University guard Joey Johnson.
12 feet!

[note: copyrighted material redacted. -manhattan]




[Edited by manhattan on 01-04-2001 at 05:59 PM]
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  #24  
Old 01-04-2001, 03:17 PM
sdimbert sdimbert is offline
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Regarding the OP...

Quote:
Originally posted by TheMadHun
Have they ever been a professional basketball team?
Just to be a stinker:

According to http://www.m-w-com (underlining is mine):
Quote:
Main Entry: 1pro·fes·sion·al
Pronunciation: pr&-'fesh-n&l, -'fe-sh&-n&l
Function: adjective
Date: circa 1748
1 a : participating for gain or livelihood in an activity or field of endeavor often engaged in by amateurs <a professional golfer>

Main Entry: team
Pronunciation: 'tEm
Function: noun
Date: before 12th century
1 : a number of persons associated together in work or activity: as a : a group on one side (as in football or a debate)
So, since the Globetrotters play basketball, for "gain or livelihood" as "a group on one side," they must be a professional basketball team.

So there.
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