The Warriors are the Globetrotters

June 7th, 2018

 

Harlem Globetrotter Goose Tatum

 

_____

 

 

I never tire of watching the Golden State Warriors play basketball at their best — great passing, intense defense, and near-impossible and timely long distance shots (almost comical, in fact) made by compelling and mostly likable personalities.   Their popularity is not limited to the San Francisco Bay area — their following is worldwide.   According to ESPN, “the first two games [of this year’s NBA Finals between Golden State and Cleveland] peaked at more than 21 million viewers in the U.S. alone, and there were 50 million watching in China…This is basketball at its highest level in its highest profile.”

While much of this immense audience can be attributed to the participation of the larger-than-life figure of Cleveland’s LeBron James (basically a “superhero” on the court), the consistently brilliant play of the Warriors over the last four seasons has revolutionized the game of basketball, so much so that it is easy to be reminded of the Harlem Globetrotters when watching them.  Like the Trotters, they make watching basketball fun.

In Spinning the Globe, Ben Green’s terrific 2005 biography of the Globetrotters, he wrote that they “were not just a great barnstorming team; they were a sociology class on wheels, bringing black hoops and black culture to a hundred Midwestern towns that had seen neither, and in the process transforming Dr. James Naismith’s stodgy, wearisome game — which was still sometimes played in chicken-wire cages by roughneck immigrants with flailing elbows and bloodied skulls, a sport more resembling rugby — into an orchestration of speed, fluidity, motion, dazzling skill, and most improbably, inspired comedy.”  While the Warriors are not a “sociology class on wheels” like the Trotters were, they are transforming the way the game is played, growing the audience for it, and revolutionizing the sport along the way.  

If, like me, you are in a basketball frame-of-mind, I encourage you to check out the 2005 interview I conducted with Green on the Globetrotters, which can be read by clicking here.  Meanwhile…no matter the outcome of this year’s finals (looks like another Warriors championship), you can bet the audience will be watching — and entertained.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this:

Comment on this article:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In This Issue

In this issue, 25 noted critics, writers, musicians and artists answer the question, “What are some of your all-time favorite record album covers?”…Also, an interview with Romare Bearden biographer Mary Schmidt Campbell; ”And so we left for Paris” a short story by Sophie Jonas-Hill; two new podcasts by Bob Hecht (one on Paul Desmond, the other on Art Farmer); 18 poets contribute 20 poems to our March poetry collection; new jazz listening recommendations; and lots more…

“What are some of your all-time favorite record album covers?”

Gary Giddins, Jimmy Heath, Fred Hersch, Joe Hagan, Maxine Gordon, Neil Tesser, Tim Page, Veronica Swift and Marcus Strickland are among the 25 writers, musicians, poets, educators, and photographers who write about their favorite album cover art

Short Fiction

"And so we went to Paris," a short story by Sophie Jonas-Hill

Poetry

Eighteen poets contribute 20 poems in the March collection

Interviews

Romare Bearden biographer Mary Schmidt Campbell discusses the life of the important 20th century American artist

The Joys of Jazz

Two new podcasts from Bob Hecht -- on Paul Desmond, and Art Farmer

Poetry

“King Louis en le toilette” — a poem (and collage) by Steven Dalachinsky

On the Turntable

Recommended listening…Check out these 18 recently released jazz recordings by Branford Marsalis, Anna Maria Jopek, Ralph Alessi, Larry Grenadier, Jon Cowherd, Stephane Galland, Mathias Eick and the Jimbo Tribe

Art

“Thinking about Robert Johnson” — a photo narrative by Charles Ingham

Great Encounters #54

In this edition, Joe Hagan, author of STICKY FINGERS: .The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine, writes about how co-founders Wenner and legendary San Francisco music critic Ralph Gleason came upon the name for their revolutionary publication, Rolling Stone magazine.

Cover Stories with Paul Morris

In this edition, Paul writes about jazz album covers that offer glimpses into intriguing corners of the culture of the 1950’s

Coming Soon

An interview with Maxine Gordon, author of Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon

In the previous issue

The February, 2019 issue features an interview with Thomas Brothers, author of Help! The Beatles, Duke Ellington, and the Magic of Collaboration…Also, previous winners of the Jerry Jazz Musician Short Fiction Contest reflect on their winning story; two new podcasts from Bob Hecht; a new collection of poetry; recommendations of recently release jazz recordings, and lots more…

Contributing writers

Site Archive