The Harlem Globetrotters Tickets
The Harlem Globetrotters have been entertaining fans all over the world for nine decades. A journey that began at the Savoy Ballroom has now turned the unique basketball team and its acts into a global phenomenon, and that is why Harlem Globetrotters tickets are always in high demand when they hit the road. The Harlem Globetrotters are a manifestation of an idea conceived by Abe Saperstein in the second half of the 1920s. Little did he know that it would go on to transcend boundaries and break barriers all across the globe.
The Harlem Globetrotters have dazzled fans in over 120 nations around the globe and they are not about to stop just yet. If you are looking for the Harlem Globetrotters tickets, they are available here.
Abe Saperstein was born in London on July 4, 1902. He was not very tall, only 5 ft 3 in, but was a decent basketball player. He used to play different sports during his school days but it was his stint as the guard for the Chicago Reds that made him a renowned athlete. He also had a very shrewd business mind.
Saperstein wanted to own an NBA franchise but things did not work out the way he wanted and in the end he decided to form the American Basketball League in 1961. He wanted his league to be a little different and introduced the three-point shot to the sport. ABL however folded in 1963 but his legacy as a visionary had long been secured before that. The Harlem Globetrotters and their success had showed that Saperstein was way ahead of his time.
The formation of the Harlem Globetrotters and how they conquered the world is a compelling story of one man standing up for what he believed was right. It is a story that is worth narrating too.
Saperstein’s revolutionary idea
Saperstein used to see young African Americans play basketball in the streets of Chicago and he couldn’t help but be impressed by their skills. Despite being talented they could not play in the league due to the racial divide as the African American players were barred from playing the sport professionally. A lot of talent was going to waste due to that grave injustice and Abe Saperstein decided to do something about it.
He formed a team, mostly consisting of black players, and named them the Savoy Big Five as they used to play at the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago. Even professional sides during those days did not have any home courts so they used to travel all across the country to play at different venues. Saperstein decided he would do the same and the team hit the road for its first ever tour.
The team was then named the Harlem Globetrotters and it was Saperstein’s business acumen that prompted him to change the name. The Harlem part of the title was to show that the side predominantly consisted of black players while the Globetrotters was to show the masses that the team was well travelled and had plenty of experience.
The inaugural season and its impact
The Harlem Globetrotters stepped out on the basketball court for the first time on January 7, 1927. The inaugural campaign was a monumental success as the Globetrotters recorded 101 wins out of the 117 games they played that year.
The Harlem Globetrotters began to turn heads and Saperstein put his heart and soul into making sure that his team had games to play in the future. They kept on playing and by 1936, the Globetrotters had played more than a whopping one thousand games.
Harlem Globetrotters: The Showstoppers
The Harlem Globetrotters were beginning to dominate most sides. A lot of the times the contests were so one sided that the crowd and the players began to get bored. In one of their games in 1939 when the Globetrotters were leading 112-5, Inman Jackson, a Globetrotter, decided to try some interesting tricks. The crowd that was bored suddenly livened up with excitement and enjoyed the showboating. Once again Saperstein, the businessman took over and instructed his players to make this a regular feature of their play every night.
The triumph over the Minneapolis Lakers
By 1940, the Globetrotters had taken part in an incredible two thousand games. That number continued to swell as the Globetrotters dominated different teams on a regular basis.
The Globetrotters met the NBA Champions in 1948. The Lakers were NBA Champions, but the Globetrotters weren’t intimidated by them. They took on the champions and beat them. That one triumph became the catalyst of something extremely important – it changed people’s perspective about African American basketball players, which resulted in the NBA allowing its teams to bring black players on board. It was a watershed moment in the sport’s history and the Globetrotters more than played their part in bringing it about.
The new avenue brought its own problems for Saperstein and the Harlem Globetrotters. The African American players now had the opportunity to play for professional franchises in the major leagues and that made it quite difficult for the Globetrotters to recruit players. But those who were a part of the team continued to put on dazzling displays for their fans everywhere.
The Globetrotters suffer a setback
By the early 1950s, a lot of teams had stopped playing against the Harlem Globetrotters as they apparently had enough beatings at the hand of the exhibition lineup. That is when Red Klotz, Saperstein’s friend stepped in. Klotz was the owner of the basketball team Philadelphia Sphas, and Saperstein requested him to make the Sphas the Globetrotters’ opponents on a permanent basis. The trick was to give the Sphas different kits and uniforms for games to show the fans they were up against a different opponent every time.
The trip to Moscow and a start of new journey for the Globetrotters
The Harlem Globetrotters then received an invitation from Vasily Gricorevich in 1959. Vasily was Lenin Central Stadium’s director and the Globetrotters were invited to play nine games there. A crowd of almost 14,000 was in attendance and the Globetrotters, including the likes of legendary Wilt Chamberlain, put on a basketball display unlike any other. Their tricks had the fans glued to every second of the action.
The Harlem Globetrotters went from strength to strength. A lot of African American players were joining teams in the NBA, but the Globetrotters kept going. The tricks and flicks that they incorporated into their games as a sideshow became their main show. That turned the Globetrotters into more of an entertaining basketball side than a professional team. The fans began to view them that way as well.
Saperstein’s Death and Impact
In 1966, the Harlem Globetrotters were hit with their biggest shock, the death of Abe Saperstein. He was more than a founder of the team and an inspiration to a lot of people. The Globetrotters were Saperstein’s raison d’être in more ways than one. The Globetrotters were then bought by a consortium from the Windy City for an estimated price of $3.7 million. The team was later bought by Metro Media for a price of $11 million. They are now owned and operated by the Herschend Family Entertainment.
The Globetrotters hit the peak of their popularity again during the 1970s. Though briefly, they lost a bit of their appeal, but managed to turn things around for themselves, especially after Lynette Woodward, the Olympic gold medalist joined the Harlem Globetrotters. It was a historic moment for the side as she become the first ever female member of the team.
The Harlem Globetrotters have a huge fan following which has taken them to over a hundred countries spanning over six continents. Not only that, they have also entertained popes, presidents and various dignitaries around the globe. Their 90th Anniversary Tour became a huge hit and was the perfect way to celebrate Abe Saperstein’s legacy.
Did You Know?
The Harlem Globetrotters posted their first ever undefeated season in 1959 and went on to win an incredible 441 games during that campaign. The only continent they haven’t been to is Antarctica. The Harlem Globetrotters have also been inducted into the prestigious Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Globetrotters is considered a professional team while their games are considered exhibition encounters. The jerseys they wore for their first ever game had “New York” written on them. They played their first ever game in Harlem in the year 1968, more than forty years after their formation. Wilt Chamberlain was a Globetrotter for one year. The Harlem Globetrotters have played more games than any other professional team in history. They have performed in front of more than 120 million fans all over the globe. The list of honorary Globetrotters contains names like Henry Kissinger, Nelson Mandela, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Whoopi Goldberg among others.