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Courtesy of the Harlem Globetrotters

Striped Crusaders

By Felipe Buitrago

LET'S FACE IT: any team in the NBA that trains and works hard enough is a shoe-in for the championship, and it can parade the Larry O'Brian Championship Trophy around for an entire year and sport a championship ring forever. But only one basketball team is known not only for its amazing technique, but also for having a theme song and for claiming Saturday-morning cartoon glory, and that's the Harlem Globetrotters. And they're not just überskilled basketball players with cameos on Scooby Do. Their globe-trotting exploits put Magellan to shame—hell, they found Gilligan's Island! Clearly the Globetrotters have done more than keeping true to their name, traveling the world. With 120 countries under their belts, setting foot on six continents, they're now coming to the HP Pavilion on Jan. 16–17. Their new tour for 2009, "Spinning the Globe," will take them to even more countries and more cities than I can list, let alone pronounce. With a schedule like that, it's no wonder they recruit the way they do. Not only do they skip any and all daft bureaucracy, they get the best players like Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, even Bob Hope and Henry Kissinger. It's like the obnoxious kid picking his team at PE who says, "I pick Pope John Paul II," only he actually gets Pope John Paul II. Fortunately most of these figures are in the ranks of honorary players. I wouldn't want to know how much damage Kissinger could have done as a power forward.

THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS play Friday, Jan. 16, at 7:30pm, and Saturday, Jan. 17, at 1pm at HP Pavilion, 525 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose. Tickets are $17–$157. For more info and tickets call 408.998.8497 go to or

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