I hadn't seen the Harlem Globetrotters perform since the '70s. It was reassuring to find that their show hadn't changed much in thirty years. They jump a little higher, hip hop is now their soundtrack of choice, and they use wireless microphones so fans in the cheap seats can hear all of the clowning. But the shorts-pulling, ref-baiting and Generals-pummeling is exactly the same.
Yet what's comforting to me spells trouble for the legendary basketball troupe. New basketball attractions- like And 1 and the Streetball franchises- have usurped much of the Globetrotter's appeal. And the jaw-droppingly talented freak show of the NBA, with larger-than-life figures like A.I., Shaq, and Nash, have undeniably greater skills and show biz appeal than the anonymous cast wearing stripes shorts.
The Globetrotters drew only about 4,000 curious fans to Kemper Arena on Friday night. I fear that "Sweet Georgia Brown"'s tune is fading.
I'm far from a Kansas State backer. But I'm still upset that their star men's basketball phenom, Bill Walker, may be hurt.
I like to bait my music pals by claiming that jazz is dead. Roy Hargrove made me look like an idiot Saturday night at the Folly. The trumpeter's stunning performance was vital and innovative.