That headline is correct. It took forty minutes and about 30 seconds of sudden death overtime for the World Famous Harlem Globetrotters to defeat the Washington Generals in the BOK Center on Sunday afternoon. Instead of employing a partial period or quarter to solve an 88-88 tie, they employed the “sudden death” method of the first bucket scored to end the game.
I know the reader is thinking that leading with such a paragraph borders on crazy because, after all, Globetrotters games are as scripted as professional wrestling or a sitcom. After all, it would be a cold day in hell before the Globetrotters would lose to their opponents, but as it turns out… this visit by the Harlem Globetrotters had a plot.
The game was billed as a stop on the “Washington Generals Revenge Tour” and the storyline was that the Generals were getting tired of being the hapless victims over-and-over during their seemingly endless exhibition schedule of games, so in the off-season they employed a new coach who was a Generals player in the only game they won against the Globetrotters in 1971.
The new coach employed new training techniques in the off season and had a “secret weapon” in his quiver ready to strike so there was some question as to whether or not the Globetrotters would indeed suffer their first defeat in nearly a half-century. The secret weapon turned out to be a referee who was revealed to have been a teammate of the Generals coach when thy both played for Washington, and that was only after three and a half quarters of the Generals scoring after blatant (and comical) fouls were committed by the Generals that were “missed” after the Washington coach called an “X-play”.
It was an interesting twist to the tried and true combination of expert ball handling, shenanigans and hilarity that resides with pride in a Globetrotters game and it worked. The heroes won out in the end and the kids and grownups in the crowd cheered wildly.
The Globetrotters this time around featured a female player on the squad, TNT Maddox, and that helped the young and not-so-young ladies in the crowd, connect with the Globetrotters. You could tell by the cheers, it also worked.
Maddox had some great moves and showed off some excellent ball handling skills in the Globetrotters “Magic Circle” before the game even started.
That along with the water bucket trick, the famous chase chain where the players do the figure eight while passing the ball around. There were a lot of kids in the crowd and you could see that they thoroughly enjoyed themselves all around the arena. The autograph lines were long and every Globetrotters player signed everything that was put in front of them.
In the end, the crowd in the BOK Center left happy. The Globetrotters visit Tulsa around this time each year and when they return next year they are definitely a sports entertainment event for young and old that should not be missed. Sure, you will come to the game knowing who is going to win, but have great fun watching it happen.
Photos by Greg Duke, Tulsa Today.