The wacky earth shakers that are the Harlem Globetrotters are known for many things including disruption, audience humiliation and antics both on and off the court. But they are also skilled players, mastering a myriad of trick shots and topping the charts of basketball world records. That’s what this week’s video compilation is all about. Celebrating 90 years of some of misfit basketball’s greatest moments. Enjoy!
The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater and comedy in their performances of mock games. In their 90 years they have played more than 26,000 exhibition games in 122 countries and territories. The team plays over 450 live events worldwide each year and today, there are at least three different teams touring the United States.
Brother Bones’s whistled version of “Sweet Georgia Brown” is the team’s signature song, and their mascot is named Globie.
The trotters were a staple in the World Professional Basketball Tournament, winning it in 1940 and although considered one of the best teams in the country at the time, the Globetrotters were eventually eclipsed by the rise of the National Basketball Association, particularly when NBA teams began fielding African-American players in the 1950’s.
They gradually worked comic routines into their act—a direction the team has credited to Reece “Goose” Tatum, who joined in 1941—and eventually became known more for entertainment than sports.
The Globetrotters as pop culture icons have been featured in several television shows, movies, and video games and have gone down in history as one of the most recognizable teams in all of basketball history.