The Harlem Globetrotters want to bring their over 27,000 wins to basketball’s highest level. In an open letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the Harlem Globetrotters are requesting that the league designate the club as an NBA franchise after several years of contributions to the NBA.
“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. “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!”
Additionally, the Globetrotters said that while they appreciate what the NBA has done to grow the game, they believe they were the true innovators for the sport.
“We continued to pack arenas and grow the game of basketball across the globe,” the Globetrotters 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.”
The Globetrotters have been entertaining people for nearly 100 years and have certainly made their fair share of contributions to the sport. The team was originally founded in 1926 and has racked up over 27,000 wins during that time.
NBA players, including like Wilt Chamberlain, Connie Hawkins and Nat Clifton suited up for the Globetrotters before getting their start in the Association. Chamberlain even had his No. 13 retired by the Globetrotters.
“Congratulations on growing into a multi-billion-dollar industry with international endeavors and huge media deals,” the Globetrotters wrote. “… 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.”