Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Harlem Globetrotters in 2013 - An Essay

Here we are again.  Ceelo has left The Voice to Emcee the proceedings.  Reggie Harrison is back because he can't find a College coaching gig.  Global Select is back trying to redeem itself after a poor showing in 2012.  That's right.  Welcome to the 2013 Harlem Globetrotters Boston Journal!  For the fourth year in a row  (Read the 2010, 2011, and 2012 editions here), the five of us travel into Boston to watch the Harlem Globetrotters and their entertaining version of basketball.  Who cares if the kids completely disregard fundamental basketball to do the tricks that they see the Globetrotters do?  It last only for a couple of weeks before I shut them down on the court from trying their own version of the Magic Circle whistling Sweet Georgia Brown. 

Everyone was waiting for my vote
When we arrived for the latest edition of the Harlem Globetrotters, the first thing we noticed was that this year's theme was a little different.  We could use Twitter to decide which of the gimmicks would be in play for each quarter.  Our choices were the four point shot and the penalty box (which we had seen in other editions of the globetrotters), the two balls in play rule (which was my favorite), the 6 on 5 rule and the double the points rule.  I immediately went on Twitter to cast my vote for the two balls in play rule.  That was a new one to me.   

As the team comes out for Sweet Georgia Brown, I notice that Big Easy is the star of the team, rather than Special K (Thank goodness, Special K was kind of boring last year), but that Tiny was not here either for the second year in a row.  Seriously why does Providence get this guy and we don't?  It's Providence!

But back to the voting.  Because Wonderful Pistachios were sponsoring the 4 point shot (which were in the corners between the three point line and midcourt), I was not surprised to see that the 4 point shots were the First Quarter gimmick that people "voted" for.

1:15PM.  Boston, MA.  The game started as it usually does.  The Global Select team came out shooting, immediately hitting three 4 point shots to take an early lead.  However, both teams were shot happy and refused to try to score anything but 4 pointers and the occasional three man weave.  the score after one was 17-16.  I make a comment to G that the loser of Last Year's game was prohibited from touring 2013, but yet Global Select was still around.  I guess just an oversight.  G didn't seem to mind.

As I ponder that question, Big Globie comes out next to entertain the kids, with his still funny Chumbawumba imitation of getting knocked down and he gets up again.  That still cracks me up as we enter our third straight year of this.  The kids still like it too.  At least that's what it looks like to me.

The scoring in the Second Quarter increases substantially.  Not because of fundamentally good basketball, mind you, but because the crowd voted to make double the points as the Second Quarter gimmick.  Every free throw is worth 2 points, every basket is worth 4, you get it.  The teams, relieved of the pressure to hit obscenely long 4 point shots, now start shooting medium range jumpers or collaborating on easy three man weaves.  The teams' field goal percentage rises and, as expected, the Global Select takes a half time lead of 53-44.  Only DLG thinks that the Globetrotters might lose at this point (She's only 6, after all) so I gently tell her that she might be the reason the Globetrotters will lose for the first time in years.  She's a jinx!  No not really, I just play along telling her that the Globetrotters are a good team so don't worry, they will mount a comeback.

The Second Half opens with the 2 basketball gimmick for the first two minutes.  I admit that this is pretty impressive since now the Globetrotters complete the three man weave with 2 basketballs instead of one.  This was quite a feat of choreography.  Great job by the guys (and the Curly Neal of the team, TNT, who was female.)  The Trotters also entertain the crowd with the bucketful of water routine that makes the kids go nuts.

The Fourth Quarter brings out the two basketball routine again that is decided by live fan vote in the arena.  The Globetrotters start to pull away as the team starts to execute on all of its shots, including a fantastic half court hook shot by Bid Easy.  The crowd goes crazy when he makes it!  The Globetrotters win 96-82.

As we walk out of the Arena, I reflect on another successful day in Boston with the Globetrotters and wonder to myself how many more of these we can go to before the kids aren't interested anymore.  Until then, I still enjoy these days.

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