If you're wondering why the Harlem Globetrotters didn't make it to the NBA playoffs last season, it's because the Globetrotters aren't in the NBA! In fact, they're not in any league -- they just play the same old team -- the New York Nationals -- over and over again. And usually, they win. In fact, they've won every game since November 15, 2003.
"No, it's not rigged," says the team's spokesman, Brian Kilgore, "but it's not a full-scale basketball game." It's largely entertainment, he says. In fact, the Globetrotters' record of late is downright crap compared to some of the winning streaks they've had since their inception in 1939. As of 1960, they'd played 8,945 games and suffered only 330 losses. A game they lost in 1971 -- to the New Jersey Reds, in overtime, by a score of 100-99 -- ended the Globetrotters' 2,495-game winning streak but opened the door for a new one -- which would stand for 24 years. In 2003, the team celebrated its 21,000th victory -- over the Nationals, 107-52.
In addition to being the first sports team with its own Saturday-morning cartoon and having performed for Nikita Khrushchev, Nelson Mandela, and three popes, the 'Trotters have launched the careers of some NBA greats -- like Wilt Chamberlain, who rocked the blue jersey and the red-and-white-striped shorts for one season. They've also scooped up players who are done with their NBA careers.
"We have a scouting department," says Kilgore, which looks for "great basketball players who also have a lot of showmanship." So why not get Dennis Rodman on the squad? "Uh, his reputation isn't family-oriented." But Chamberlain, who says he banged 20,000 women in his life -- fit right in? "He got around after the Globetrotters," Kilgore explains. "He didn't really get rollin' until he hit the big city." Whatever you say, dude... but since Chamberlain's record averages out to 1.2 sexual encounters a day every day since he was 15, you might want to check with former cheerleaders on that.
See the legendary Harlem Globetrotters at the gymnasium at Florida Atlantic University (777 Glades Rd., Boca Raton) on Monday. Tickets cost $22 to $75. Call 954-462-0222, or visit www.fauevents.com. -- Deirdra Funcheon
See the world's best golfers at Doral
There will be a sick amount of balata-thumping talent on the course when the Ford Championship at Doral kicks off Thursday at the famed Blue Monster (4400 NW 87th Ave., Miami). Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Mike Weir, Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia, Davis Love III, Stewart Cink, Retief Goosen, Chris DiMarco, Kenny Perry, and David Toms. Those are 13 of the top 17 golfers in the world rankings, and the baker's dozen will be gunning for defending champion Craig Parry's trophy this year. Ten of the top 11 in the world are here, with only Ernie Els deciding to skip the first leg of the PGA's Florida swing. If the excitement this season in any way matches last year's, when Parry knocked in a seven-iron from 170 yards on the 18th hole to win a playoff versus Scott Verplank, the drama will be palpable. Tickets range from $20 to $35 each day; weekly passes are also available, and college students with valid school ID get in free during the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday. Call 888-939-4653. -- Russ Evans
Wham, bam, skateboard slam
The Spring Skateboard Slam sounds as if it could be an X Games-styled competition combined with a WWE free-for-all (or maybe some new kind of high-carb meal at Denny's). But don't fret, little dudes; it's all handrails and no headlocks this Saturday at Pompano Indoor Skatepark (2171 Blount Rd., Pompano Beach). Sponsored by the local shop Surf Syndicate, the contest is your average skill-level-based set of individual runs. That means it's up to you to decide which obstacles to unleash your bag of tricks upon, whether you're into simple hip transfers, clearing the whole damn pyramid, or trying your luck on the door gap. In the event your run doesn't go too smoothly, there's a Best Trick contest as well; yes, you can win 100 bucks for landing that switch-kickflip-nosegrind you've been bragging about. Of course, if you don't have your tricks down or don't have the $20 to enter, you can sit on the sidelines and cheer on your buds. But only contestants get free T-shirts. Call 954-979-7966. -- Jason Budjinski
Ladies Shredding Circle
Ladies, if your most recent high-intensity workout involved shopping for Sephora's Lip Venom, it's time to switch gears. Club Mud Mountain Biking is offering a new Women's Skills Clinic at Quiet Waters Park. If you associate "Bunny Hops" with bad wedding dances and "Wheelie Drops" with fanciful candy treats, don't be intimidated. This session is aimed at riders with all levels of experience. With guides like Kristin Butcher, by midafternoon, you will know how to wheelie and scale the trails like the two-wheeled demon you have always wanted to be. More important, how tough will this power posse of ladies look while jumping, cornering, and basically dominating the trails? Oh, did I mention this event is totally free? Visit www.clubmud.com, or e-mail Butcher at firstname.lastname@example.org for meeting details, safety advice, and inspirational words of wisdom. -- Jamie Laughlin