The Harlem Globetrotters have captured fans’ imaginations for decades.
They’ve played across the world. They’ve weaved to Sweet Georgia Brown. They’ve clowned and joked and kidded.
Most of all, they’ve won.
Thousands of times, they beat their travelling foe – the Washington Generals. The Generals have lost nearly every game they’ve played against the Globetrotters, winning just two-to-six times depending which records you trust.
It appears the Generals’ last win over Harlem – in 1971 – will remain their last win over Harlem.
The Globetrotters’ ownership simply said they were breaking with the Generals. They didn’t offer details or reasons — the Globetrotters didn’t return a phone call for this story. But it’s not hard to figure out what happened. Times have changed. The Globetrotters, under new ownership, face unique challenges in a time of unprecedented competition for the entertainment buck. They have decided after six decades to go it alone.
For more on the Generals, read Posnanski’s fantastic obituary of their longtime player/coach, Red Klotz.