The Harlem Globetrotters are the winningest professional basketball team in history, so why not have them join the NBA?
That’s what the team is arguing in an open letter to league commissioner Adam Silver. The Globetrotters claim they’ve contributed a lot to basketball’s preeminent league and say they should be one of their franchises.
"Based on what we've already proven, we can field a team of talent on par with the pros of today, and we want the chance to do that," the Globetrotters wrote in the letter posted to their official website. "As a world renowned and legendary professional basketball team, we petition Commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA governors and the powers that be to grant The Original Harlem Globetrotters an NBA franchise. Not now, but right now!"
Furthermore, the Globetrotters say that while the NBA has progressed basketball well, they believe they were the true innovators of the sport.
"We continued to pack arenas and grow the game of basketball across the globe," the team added. "When the NBA struggled to draw more than a few thousand fans, we agreed to schedule doubleheaders featuring the Globetrotters. As the NBA grew, you were able to attract the best Black players, but we remember who helped the NBA get it all started ... don't get it twisted; basketball would not be what it is today without us."
With more than 27,000 wins, the Harlem Globetrotters have entertained people around the world for almost a century. The team was originally founded in 1926.
NBA players, including Wilt Chamberlain, Nat Clifton, Connie Hawkins and more suited up for the Globetrotters prior to their NBA beginnings.
"Congratulations on growing into a multi-billion-dollar industry with international endeavors and huge media deals," the Globetrotters wrote in their letter. "... It's time to right the wrongs and rewrite history. It's time for the NBA to honor what the Globetrotters have done for OUR sport, both here in the U.S. and around the globe."
(Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)