As the video shows, a backboard comes crashing down around a Harlem Globetrotter during a recent “game.” Fortunately, his injuries were not serious and it appears he will be dunking again soon.
As I watched the video I couldn’t help but think that it served as a metaphor to a bigger collapse. The collapse of the “Harlem Globetrotters.” I like to remember the Harlem Globetrotters from my childhood. Now they were an “event.” Curley and Meadowlark Lemon were household names. If given the choice, an aspiring young basketball talent would pick the Globetrotters over the NBA any day!
Who could forget the voice of Howard Cosell as he dramatically announced the half-court hook shot that Meadowlark drained every time? Or what about the “lockdown” defense of the “Generals” that Curley could dribble through without any problems? Where have the Trotters of my childhood gone?
There was a time when the Harlem Globetrotters filled major arenas for their games. Did you see the venue in the video? The paint, the railing, the chipped walls? Really? Are the Globetrotters reduced to playing in barns with peach baskets hanging on the walls? And the crowd was smaller than many high school games I’ve attended.
I’m grateful that the player was not injured and I hope he makes a full recovery. Likewise, I would like to see the Harlem Globetrotters make a full recovery as well. Let’s hope that the next time we see them play it will be in a packed out NBA venue with scores of fans whistling “Sweet Georgia Brown” and watching it rain half-court hook shots for a Trotters victory over the Generals. Oh yeah, the voice of Cosell would be a nice addition too.