When: Sun., Jan. 13, 2 p.m. 2013
The Harlem Globetrotters are more fantasy than reality. The team lists its players by nicknames — Too Tall, Hacksaw, Special K and so on — giving the world’s winningest basketball team an aura of superheroism. Even with high-quality basketball on cable and leagues across Europe paying a premium for American players just outside the fringe of the NBA, the ’Trotters stubbornly stick to their barnstorming tradition. They are known as much for their mid-game antics as they are for their style of basketball — an up-tempo, stunt-heavy approach that owes much to the playgrounds, and which informed the speedy style that made the ABA popular in the ’70s and the NBA watchable in the ’80s. All the pies in faces and balloon animals and halftime performances of the Electric Slide do not detract from the fact that the ’Trotters are still very, very good at what they do. It’s best on those miracle nights when the Washington Generals — losers of a zillion straight — somehow make a game of it late, and the men (and now, yes, women, too) in the famous star-spangled jerseys have to focus on the basketball, and not the sideshow. And keep an eye out for Moose — The Harlem Globetrotters added the onetime MTSU player formerly known as Alex Weekes to their roster in September.