It has now been three years in a row that we have seen the Harlem Globetrotters at the Garden. The 2010 edition featured ridiculously long lines to purchase basketballs and the 2011 edition featured a Globetrotters thrashing by 30 points. They were both memorable in their own ways, but both made the family excited. So what will the 2012 special edition of the Harlem Globetrotters tour bring our way? We originally got excited this year when we saw highlights of Tiny the 7 foot 8 inch behemoth dunk the basketball without jumping (My nine year old was especially looking forward to seeing this circus freak), and the girls were excited about TNT who was the first woman to play for the Globetrotters in at least a decade.
2pm. Boston, MA. After several minutes of moving the bike ramps around the driveway, we finally get on the road and hit the Garden with thousands of other people. We're old pros at this by now. So much so that the boys are looking forward to Big Globie and the skit with the water and paper confetti (both of which we saw the preceding two years). G also asked me about the four point shots.
First Quarter. As a new gimmick, the Globetrotters are playing Global Select. While these guys look like the Washington Generals in different uniforms, it is an interesting gimmick that they were playing for the world touring championship with the loser prohibited from touring in 2013. Seriously.
I swear the short, balding white guy on the Global Select is the same guy sharpshooter who keeps the Generals in THEIR games against the Globetrotters. No one else seemed to notice, so I let it go. I also noticed that they brought back the same court gimmicks from last year. The Penalty Box and the aforementioned 4 point shot. After an obligatory four pointer from Too Tall and Flight Time, the Globetrotters lead after the First Quarter 28-27. Pretty close so far.
We both notice as the quarter rolls along, however, that neither Tiny nor TNT are in the lineup. What happened to them? I scan the bench and the crowd for any sign of Tiny. But none was to be found. Damn it!
Howard Johnson is a sponsor. Do you think they actually stay there, or do they stay at the Ritz or at Copley Place? You decide.
Second Quarter. We finally get to see Big Globie! The kids stand up and watch him like he's a freak. Although he brings out the same Chumbawamba song/fall down act, it still elicits giggles from even the most skeptical of us (I mean me.). Despite trailing by six with a couple of minutes left, the Global Select make a run and lead at halftime 57-49. That's ok. I am positive the Globetrotters will make a game of this and perhaps even win.
Third Quarter. I love it that the clock starts even before they start to play and then stops while the action is going on. It's like my daughter is playing with the scoreboard depending on the mood she is in. Putting aside the WWE nature of the proceedings, the Globetrotters come back to make it 80-75 after three quarters. A couple of guys go into the penalty box, a couple of four pointers are made and Special K performs the steal the lady's pocketbook trick (just to give it back to her in the form of a huge birthday gift). It's a win-win for all of us.
Fourth Quarter. A couple of three pointers by the Select team steams the crowd a little bit. The murmurs grow as the Global Select's lead grows to 15 points with 8 minutes left (and I'm not sure if it is running time or not). Not a twinge of doubt enters my mind, though, but I am worried that the outright game-fixing will start to be a little more obvious. Even the PA guy stops the rally music as the Select guys keep draining their jumpers. Missed layups, obvious fouls, lack of hustle are going to start soon (oh wait, that's the Celtics against good teams). Don't they know they are supposed to miss these shots, anyway? I don't think these guys are going to be at the 7pm game tonight if they keep this up.
But just like clockwork, after a couple of cool alley-oops that gets the crowd to stand on their feet, the Globetrotters finish their rally to win 99-94. Even at the end the balding, short white guy makes a four pointer to a smattering of boos. Man, tough crowd.
But another successful time at the Harlem Globetrotters for the JMR crew. Thank God they won the World Championship. We'll see you again next year!