One of the best basketball teams in the world is looking to join basketball’s premier league. The Harlem Globetrotters are making their case to become an official NBA franchise as they look to take on the best of the best. In a letter released by the team, the Harlem Globetrotters pleas with the NBA to allow them to become part of the organization. With the highest win percentage in basketball history, it’s hard to see how bringing the Harlem Globetrotters in would be considered a failure. After all, without the Globetrotters, there’s no NBA.
“Based on what we’ve already proven, we can field a team of talent on par with the pros of today, and we want the chance to do that,” the Harlem Globetrotters said in a statement. “As a world-renowned and legendary professional basketball team, we petition Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA governors, and the powers that be to grant The Original Harlem Globetrotters an NBA franchise. Not now, but right now.”
The Harlem Globetrotters can practice what they preach. While mostly whitewashed, the iconic team did bring the sport of basketball to a larger broader audience. Just another why white America has benefited from the talents of their fellow African-Americans.
“Don’t get us wrong, we love what y’all have done recently and we are proud of how your players are standing up to make a difference in their communities,” the letter read. “But don’t get it twisted; basketball would not be what it is today without us. You’ve played games in 17 countries. We’ve played in 122. We brought basketball to the world stage.”
Before the NBA became the standard of professional basketball, the Harlem Globetrotters were the best of the best. Founded in 1926, the Globetrotters were able to capture the entire world and propel the sport of basketball. From playing in the US to expand their reaches far across the globe, the Globetrotters had the attention of the world. Currently, the team has over 26,000 exhibition wins in over 128 territories. In an era where having an all-black basketball was seen as underdogs, the Harlem Globetrotters overcame the odds and succeeded.
The Harlem Globetrotters’ first taste at showcasing their talents to the world came in 1940. At the World Professional Basketball Tournament, the Globetrotters beat the Chicago Bruins, 31-29. Their next test came 7 years later, spawning a sudden interest in African-American basketball players from the NBA. The Harlem Globetrotters would beat the reigning NBA champions Minneapolis Lakers (now Los Angles Lakers) in 1949. The next year, three basketball players (Chuck Cooper, Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton, and Earl Llyod) would become the first African-Americans to be drafted into the NBA. Two were former Harlem Globetrotters. With the Harlem Globetrotters defeating an all-white superior champion team, the era and the game of basketball shifted. It’s only right to make the Harlem Globetrotters, the pioneers of modern basketball, an official NBA franchise.