I have to say that today’s Harlem Globetrotters game was a nice departure from the normal rigors of being a sportswriter. I didn’t have to worry about facts, figures, how a triple double is scored, nothing like that. It was great to know that I was going to be entertained, the winner was pretty much a guarantee, and I was going to laugh out loud.
I wasn’t disappointed. Not by a long shot. Or a half court shot, I should say.
The famous basketball team-slash-comedy troupe brought their unique blend of slapstick comedy and sick basketball skills to the floor of the amazing BOK Center Saturday afternoon and they alley-ooped and slam dunked their way to an all-too-predictable victory over the perennially bad (and fictional) Washington Generals.
The Globetrotters took the floor to the familiar whistled anthem of “Sweet Georgia Brown” and immediately assumed the Magic Circle, which showcased the squad’s superb ball handling skills. I had seen this countless times before on Wide World of Sports but to see this display of passes, twirls and gymnastic ability was a sight to behold. The game itself was a display of incredible dunking, figure-eight pass-and-chase, and some sweet alley-oop shots.
Any regular fan of the Globetrotters know that their games are scripted affairs that combine the considerable skill of the players with comedy skits. This afternoon prior to tip off the coach of the Generals proclaimed to the crowd that he had a “secret weapon” that would allow his team to steal a rare victory from the Globetrotters.
That weapon turned out to be a hypno disk attached to an umbrella that mesmerized the Globetrotters and threw them off their game enough for the Generals to score a few buckets. The various ways Big Easy Lofton, the narrator for the Globetrotters, used to snap his teammates out of their hypnosis were hilarious, including the famous “water trick” that wound up dousing a referee (and a few unwitting fans in section 101) with a bucket of water. The trick was repeated in the third quarter but this time fans in section 113 got a bucket full of feathers thrown at them instead of feathers.
In the end it’s hard to say what I enjoyed the most about the show this afternoon. I guess the best part was the fan interaction from the brief shoot around before the tip where I saw several Globetrotter players make impossible shots from 4 rows up the arena bowl to the use of a kid from the front row who got to shoot a free throw on the game’s only foul (he made the shot, if that matters to anyone).
All-in-all, it was a great show. Very entertaining and fun. The show this afternoon was a testament to the longevity of the Harlem Globetrotters franchise and how after 84 years they still know how to get the job done and entertain both young and old.
Notice that I didn’t mention the final score. I don’t plan to because it doesn’t really matter. I had fun, and regardless who was ahead at the final horn that would be counted as a victory for the Globetrotters any day.
Photos by: Kevin Pyle