In this special column I invite you to know more about a legendary team. Do you know  the famous Harlem Globetrotters ?


The Harlem Globetrotters doubtlessly have brought to the basketball the spectacular and entertaining side. Real ambassadors of the basketball they toured all over the world. They amazed millions of fans worldwide. They are today the reference in the basketball creation .

More than a basketball team, they broke social and cultural barriers by bringing to thousands of spectators their first basketball experiences.

The time of an article, I send my best tributes to the Harlem Globe Trotters. I invite you to look some videos of the Globies if you want to enjoy their game.

By Guillaume Filoche aka PistoleGuite

harlem_globe_trotters36 ok

Budapest, Hungary 23 Mars 2010-

Rocket Rivers player of the Harlem Globe Trotters in demonstration in the Papp Laszlo Sport Arena


To read more about this article it’s here…

It is a basketball team of the United States that perform during exhibition games by combining artistic and athletic performances.

The adventure begins in 1926 in Chicago when the team, exclusively consists of black players, rejected from the major leagues of the country.

They make their big debuts in the Negro American Legion League, a semi-professional minor league exclusively reserved for the Afro-American players, under the name of “Savoy Big Five”, in reference to Savoy Ballroom of Chicago. The same year, the promoter Abe Saperstein buys the club, he renamed it the Harlem Globetrotters.

Originally, the Globetrotters had a competitive level and play basketball seriously

In 1939, they offered to the public farcical jokes in parallel of the game. The public was under the charm and asked for more. As they were not affiliated to any recognized league, they had to attract the public and have to face the other teams.

It is in Savoy Ballroom that their legend began at the beginning of the 1920s.


Wilt Chamberlain, only player to have registered 100 points in a single NBA game during the 1962 season was a member of the Harlem Globe Trotters from 1957 till 1959. He is the man of a lot a records in the NBA ! For example he’s the best rookie with a 58 point performance. And he scored  an impressive total of 4029 pts during a sole season. Wilt is 4th in the list of  all time point leaders with 31 419 units. Kobe Bryant  behind his 30 726 points,should outscore him in a few games.

Points Leaders in NBA
1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387
2 Karl Malone 36,928
3 Michael Jordan 32,292
4 Wilt Chamberlain 31,419
5 KOBE BRYANT 30,726

wilt chamberlain

The Harlem Globetrotters players are in great demand to make know the young NBA created in the 1950s, new league stemming from the gathering of the best get to join forces of that time.

Most agreed and choose to join the new league: the National Basketball Association. However, the Trotters are victims of hypermediatization which they conveyed up to there to the black players.

The team becomes less strong sportilvely because of the development of the NBA but stronger artistically. From then on they begin to perform beyond the American territories and conceived in 1951 the biggest world tour never realized for a basketball team with in 108 exhibition games. A record.

In 1958, the superstar Wilt Chamberlain was invited to a tour in the USSR with the Harlem Globetrotters just before joining the prestigious NBA. The media and the cinema seized the phenomenon.

Movies are also of the honor for the Globies.

In 1954, Sidney Poitier, first black actor to receive an Oscar in 1964, plays in Go, Man, Go, where he interpreted the role of a Globetrotter player .

Also first team to hire a woman in its roster, the Globetrotters broke little by little all the social and cultural codes of that time.

Since then, they appeared in episodes such as the Simpsons, Futurama.


Their world performances amaze the public, and their sports performances are incredible. They buckled the 1934 year with an extraordinary balance sheet of 152 victories for 2 defeats.

During the 1940s, the Globetrotters continues to excel in the game. They dominated and crushed all their opponents.

Their technical opportunities urged them to propose on the playground more and more gags in particular by Reece ” Goose ” Tatum, big comedian and virtuoso of the ball. Their fate is definitively going to fall over in 1948 and 1949, when they brought down twice the Lakers of Minneapolis of the big pivot George Mikan first star of the NBA, coached by the young coach John Kundla who led the Lakers to five titles in a row. The Lakers consisted in that time only of white players, as the majority of the teams of the league. The latter were the tops of the bill of the NBA.


These remarkable successes established a big upheaval. It was an historic moment for the black American people. One year later, in 1950, the NBA opened its doors to the black players’ .Earl Lloyd became in particular the first afro – American player to join the League. Moreover Nathaniel Sweetwater Clifton player of the Globetrotters, became the first player Afro-American to sign a contract with the New York Knicks NBA team.

The Harlem Globbe Trotters changed the face of America’s basketball.

If the Harlem Globetrotters are ” a global brand ” today, their fate gets involved in  the United States and the Afro-American community a lot. The Harlem Globetrotters are the first team to cross the Atlantic Ocean in the 1950s.


It is in the biggest arenas of the world that the Harlem Globe Trotters perform today. Their program is well grounded: thunderous dunks, gags like a troop of circus, interaction with the public, the referee and the opponents are also members of the show. The Harlem Globetrotters apply an explosive formula which makes their reputation for more than eighty years by mixing skillfully jokes and masterly athletic movements.

George Eddy, the voice of the basketball in France saw his first basketball match at 6 years old by looking an Harlem Globetrotters game in front of a black and white television. Their story continues to spell with the biggest personalities of the world. They exchanged some baskets in the White House with Barack Obama during the traditional ” Easter Egg Roll ” of the weekend of Easter. John-Paul II, Nelson Mandela, or Henry Kissinger have seen Globies’ tricks.

Since their creation in 1926, they performed in more than 20 000 games, played in 120 countries on 6 continents and in front of more than 130 million spectators.

Abe Saperstein and the first Trotters in the 1920s


Thank you for reading ! See you soon and stay in touch with @PistoleGuite.

To know more about black pioneers  ! I invite you to read a very good book of Ron Thomas called ” They Cleared the Lane “

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