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Harlem Globetrotters

The Harlem Globetrotters is a comic basketball team that combined athleticism and comedy to create one of the best-known sports franchises in the world. Created by Abe Saperstein in 1927 in the United States, it has toured more than 100 countries putting on exhibition games, mostly against a hapless opposition team known as the Generals.

The Globetrotters started in the Negro American Legion League as the "Giles Post," and in 1927 turned professional as the "Savoy Big Five." That year, promoter Saperstein bought the team and re-named it the Harlem Globetrotters, after the most famous of all African-American neighborhoods. Up until the late 1930s, the Globetrotters were a serious competitive team, but they gradually worked comic routines into their act until they became known more for entertainment than sports.

Among the players who have been Globetrotters is NBA great Wilt Chamberlain.

Because virtually all of its players have been African American and because of the buffoonery involved in many of the Globetrotters' skits, they drew some criticism in the post-Civil Rights era. In recent years, however, their popularity seems to have returned, notably with their 2002 induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

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