The Harlem Globetrotters are still cool! Breaking backboards & dunking without jumping
I took my two daughters, 4 and 7 years old, to see their first Harlem Globetrotters game this past Saturday. They have been to NBA games, a streetball game, a lockout game, charity games, dunk contests, basketball conventions and will be attending multiple events next month at All-Star weekend but according to them the most fun hoop experience in the world is watching the Harlem Globetrotters in person.
My personal experience with the Harlem Globetrotters also started when I was 7 years old and saw Curly, Meadowlark, Geese, Gip and BJ solve a mystery on an episode of Scooby Doo. A year later I saw the film Airplane that had a memorable scene by the Trotters as well as Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s best film appearance. Outside of Magic Johnson and the Lakers, the Globetrotters were my favorite basketball team in the 80s.
Then came the 90s and not only did my taste in basketball change but the Globetrotters did too. As I got more into dunking and was introduced to Larry Johnson, Shaq, Webber and Penny I was no longer interested in seeing the gimmick game of the Globbies but it seemed neither were the Globbies. Under new ownership, the Globetrotters wanted to be taken more seriously as a competitive basketball organization that spent much of the next decade and a half playing against AllStar and collegiate teams. Although they had pretty good success against most of their competition they did lose a couple games against non Washington Generals including an AllStar team in 1995 lead by a 48 year old Kareem Abdul Jabbar who scored 34 points and a Michigan State team lead by Jason Richardson and a rookie Zach Randolph.
This new image also meant rare appearances on TV shows. Gone were the days of seeing them during Saturday morning cartoons or guest appearing on Gilligans Island or The Love Boat. As a hoop fanatic that watched and recorded any and everything hoop related during the decade I’m pretty sure I never saw or thought about the Globetrotters once.
Flashforward to 2007. The Globetrotters introduced their draft to the world. I introduced my 2nd daughter to the world. I also started working with a lot of the best dunkers in the world including an ex Globetrotter named Myree “Reemix” Bowden. I’ve often called Reemix one of the most professional and exceptional athletes that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and for the next few years we toured the country and watched a list of ex Globetrotters show off their skills and sportsmanship in the Sprite Slam Dunk Sh0wdown. We saw Above and Beyond impress in Dallas, Roscoe The General do unthinkable dunks in Washington DC and Jacob Tucker win in San Antonio weeks before joining the back to entertaining Globetrotters who were back on TV and putting smiles on the faces of kids of the 70s and 80s kids.
Me and my kids recently watched them on Man vs Food, Kickin It, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader, Family Guy and so on and so on on TV and I found myself writing about the current Globetrotters breaking backboards and dunking…without leaving the ground. I even hung out with Coach and Globetrotter legend Sweat Lou at the airport a few months ago while waiting on a flight that wouldn’t leave ground until 2 hours after it should have.
So here I am writing about my new found appreciation for my kid’s favorite basketball team and I have to admit I had a lot of fun during the 2 hour exhibition of pranks, dunks, dancing and some impressive 3 (and 4) point shooting. Besides watching my kids have such a great time the highlight for me was seeing Kris Bruton. As I mentioned earlier that I became a big fan of dunking in the 90s and one of my top 3 favorite dunk contest performances ever was watching Kris Bruton win the NCAA dunk contest in front of judges Alonzo Mourning and Rumeul Robinson. He did “basic” dunks with so much power and height that I felt like I was watching a dunk I have never seen before. Seeing Bruton in his current role also made me feel like I was watching something I have never seen before although it’s the same great entertainment that I discovered when I was 7 years old watching Scooby Doo.
The Globetrotters are currently on tour and if you are interested in seeing them at one of the following stops then you can use this discount code (BALL) they provided Ballislife fans to buy tickets. Enjoy.