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Harlem Globetrotters petition Adam Silver to become NBA franchise

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An open letter to Adam Silver has demanded immediate action.

Wilt Chamberlain Holding Two Basketballs

No, this is not something from the leftover bin of last April Fool’s Day. You read it right. The Harlem Globetrotters was to become an NBA franchise.

The world renown acrobatic basketball team got its start on the southside of Chicago in 1926. For nearly a century, the Globetrotters have entertained audiences in over 100 countries.

The Globetrotters are technically an exhibition basketball team. And although they have 27,000 wins to their record, there are many facets of their game that would not translate into the NBA.

The level of skill required to perform in the NBA has translated from Harlem on occasion, but it is not the same stepping stone as playing overseas or in the G-League.

At a time decades ago, the Globetrotters fame eclipsed that of the NBA, earning them their own cartoon series and packing arenas in a time when the NBA struggled to fill seats. Their marketability and charisma garnered them the attention to sustain careers with changes over their 95 year reign. Popular players have come and gone, yet the Harlem Globetrotters brand continues to bring in families year after year.

But an NBA franchise?

Their comedy and acrobatics lend themselves more toward half-time entertainers than competitive basketball players. Strip away the gimmicks and they may not be more than mid-level players. Otherwise, wouldn’t more leave the fold for the pros?

Whether the letter is meant to be taken seriously or whether it is just a savvy PR stunt, the Globetrotters are in the news this week.


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