If you haven’t heard the results of the Harlem Globetrotters’ game against the Global Select at Allstate Arena, we won’t spoil the surprise. But chances are you knew ahead of time that they’d win. The team, which combines improv-style antics, sight gags and cool tricks with some very impressive basketball skills, has the winningest score in professional basketball history. An announcer at the game put their current streak at somewhere over 2,000 games.
On December 30, that streak continued and an all-ages crowd at the packed arena didn’t seem to mind the predictable outcome. No one really noticed the Select players standing idly across the court while the Globetrotters did their thing, spinning the ball on their fingertips, pantsing one another, relentlessly mocking the ref and sitting atop the baskets, all in an effort to “score.” Kids guffawed while grownups relived a piece of their childhood.
There’s no doubt that Big Easy, Stretch, Buckets, TNT—the only woman on the team, the ninth in Globetrotter history and a huge, huge hit with the girls in the stands—the other ’Trotters and their foil team are talented: Playing four quarters of ’ball is hard enough without mixing in an entire stage show and keeping an audience laughing. It’s also more fun than a league that kept its fans waiting for months last year, while it bickered over distribution of revenue and salary caps.