Washington Generals

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Washington Generals
Washington Generals logo
Founded1917
HistoryPhiladelphia Sphas
(1917–52)
Washington Generals
(1952–present)
Boston Shamrocks
(1971-72)
New Jersey Reds
(1971-72)
Baltimore Rockets
(1971-72)
Atlantic City Seagulls
(1971-72)
New York Nationals
(1995-2006)
CityWashington, D.C.
Team colorsGreen and Yellow
         
Owner(s)Red Klotz
Head coachRed Klotz
ChampionshipsABL: 7 (1933-34, 1935-36, 1936-37, 1939-40, 1940-41, 1942-43, 1944-45)
Official websitewashingtongenerals.com
 
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Washington Generals
Washington Generals logo
Founded1917
HistoryPhiladelphia Sphas
(1917–52)
Washington Generals
(1952–present)
Boston Shamrocks
(1971-72)
New Jersey Reds
(1971-72)
Baltimore Rockets
(1971-72)
Atlantic City Seagulls
(1971-72)
New York Nationals
(1995-2006)
CityWashington, D.C.
Team colorsGreen and Yellow
         
Owner(s)Red Klotz
Head coachRed Klotz
ChampionshipsABL: 7 (1933-34, 1935-36, 1936-37, 1939-40, 1940-41, 1942-43, 1944-45)
Official websitewashingtongenerals.com

The Washington Generals are an American exhibition basketball team, best known for their spectacular losing streak in exhibition games against the Harlem Globetrotters.

History[edit]

The Generals were created in 1952 by Louis "Red" Klotz as a redesignation of the Philadelphia Sphas basketball team. Globetrotters’ owner Abe Saperstein had invited Klotz to create a squad to accompany his team on their tours. With a nod to Dwight D. Eisenhower, the team was named the Washington Generals.

The Generals provided deliberately ineffective opposition as a foil for the Globetrotters' comedy routines. The Globetrotters' acts often featured incredible coordination and skillful handling of one or more basketballs, such as passing or juggling balls between players, balancing or spinning balls on their fingertips, and making unusual, difficult shots. The Generals on the other hand would try to play a game of "serious" basketball in return.

During the 1971-72 season, the Generals' name was alternated with the Boston Shamrocks, New Jersey Reds, Baltimore Rockets, and Atlantic City Seagulls. It was actually the same team of players but they would change uniforms between games to give the appearance of more teams. The team would rotate between these identities for a few seasons before going back to the Generals identity full-time.

From 1953 until 1995, the Generals played exhibitions against the Globetrotters, winning only six games, the last in 1971, and losing more than 13,000.

Klotz eventually "disbanded" the Generals in 1995, forming a new team, the New York Nationals, which also has achieved an impressive losing streak. In reality, of course, it was the same team; Klotz merely retired the Washington Generals identity. The Nationals remain a separate organization from the Globetrotters. Harlem claims its exhibition games are "real" and "competitive" contests.[1]

After a 12-year hiatus, the Generals returned on October 9, 2007, playing against the Globetrotters at the 369th Harlem Armory. The Globetrotters won 54-50.[2]

Just prior to the 2011-12 World Tour the Washington Generals underwent yet another name change. They began facing the Harlem Globetrotters as both the "International Elite" and the "Global Select", alternating between the two from game to game.

Current roster[edit]

Washington Generals roster
PlayersCoaches
Pos.#NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY–MM–DD)From
CanadaBirch, David6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)KS Ottawa University
United StatesBreslin, Kevin –Washington College
United StatesBrown, Dominique –Voorhees College
United StatesFaust, Shawn6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)University of West Florida
United StatesGiles Jr., Brice –SUNY Suffock CC
United StatesGunderson, Ryan –University of St. Francis
United StatesHowell, Dwayne6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)Snead College
United StatesJackson, James6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)Bellarmine University
United StatesLinks, Zach6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)Rutgers
United StatesLowder, Gabriel –Guilford
AustraliaOmolade, Moses –San José State
GIndiaOwens, Qadr6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)University of St. Francis
United StatesSamuels, Dwane5 ft 11 in (1.8 m)Virginia State University
United StatesSimpson, Zachary6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)Elmira College
United StatesSmith, Anthony6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)Robert Morris University
United StatesTornincasa, Trent –Hawaii Pacific University
United StatesVilsaint, James6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)University of West Florida
United StatesWoodlin, Andre6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)Kutztown University
United StatesChampion, Frank6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)Gwynedd Mercy College
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)
  • United States Ben Augustine (Misericordia College)
  • United States Ammer Johnson (Idaho State)



Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

RosterTransactions
Last transaction: 2012-10-08

Beating the Harlem Globetrotters[edit]

The Reds defeated the Globetrotters 100-99 on January 5, 1971 in Martin, Tennessee. It ended a 2,495-game winning streak. Klotz credits the overtime win to a guard named Eddie Mahar, who was team captain.[3] Harlem's captain, Curly Neal, did not play in this game.[4]

While the Globetrotters were entertaining the crowd that day, they lost track of the game and the score. They found themselves down 12 points with two minutes left to go. Forced to play normal basketball, the Globetrotters rallied but could not recover.[5]

The Reds secured their victory when Klotz hit the winning basket with seconds left. Then Meadowlark Lemon missed a shot that would have given the game back to the Globetrotters. The timekeeper tried to stop the clock and couldn't. When the final buzzer sounded, the crowd was dumbfounded and disappointed.[6] Klotz described the fans' reaction: "They looked at us like we killed Santa Claus."[7]

Some children in the stands cried after the loss.[4] The Reds celebrated by dousing themselves with orange soda instead of champagne. Lemon was furious, saying, "You lost, I didn't lose," but still visited the opposing team’s locker room to congratulate the Reds.[6]

Retired numbers[edit]

Cultural references[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Official Site of the Harlem Globetrotters: FAQ Page". Harlemglobetrotters.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  2. ^ "The Official Site of the Harlem Globetrotters: FAQ Page". Harlemglobetrotters.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  3. ^ The Last Time the Globetrotters Came Up Short, Newsday (New York) February 17, 1991.
  4. ^ a b "Curly Neal says he's an athlete first.", Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, AR), January 7, 1990.
  5. ^ "Showtime in NBA Can Be Traced to Trotters", Sporting News, March 12, 1990.
  6. ^ a b "An Upset That Shook The Globe", Hartford Courant (Connecticut), March 19, 2000.
  7. ^ "Comcast". Mywebpages.comcast.net. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  8. ^ Justin Terranova "'Mad Dog' Russo's On Air Blowup" New York Post: The Back Page 7/12/2009 http://blogs.nypost.com/sports/backpage/archives/2009/07/mad_dog_russos.html
  9. ^ Steinberg, Dan (2012-11-26). "TNT crew compares Wizards to Generals, again". Washingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 

External links[edit]