The ice game was announced a week ago, with the noblest of intentions. As always, the Globetrotters sought to entertain with their distinctive brand of basketball tricks and shenanigans. Moreover, they were celebrating the anniversary of their first ever road game, which occurred on January 7, 1927.
But, most importantly, they set out to fill the void left when the NHL lockout wiped out the Winter Classic.
It's not that far-fetched. The Winter Classic appeals to all fans, but the NHL takes pains to reach the super-casual fan, who knows so little about hockey, it's totally possible that he didn't notice this wasn't it.
Here are some highlights from the event:
To give them some extra hockey cred, the Globetrotters recruited former Detroit Red Wing Kevin Miller to skate alongside them, and I do mean skate. Miller eschewed the Globetrotters' patented ice cleats for actual ice skates.
He also brought a stick, which he used to dribble the basketball and to goaltend -- which is usually illegal in basketball, but the Harlem Globetrotters are so good the rules don't apply to them.
“We played this game today to celebrate all sports on ice,” said Globetrotter Handles Franklin. “We are so happy the NHL is back. But unfortunately, they didn't get back in time for the Winter Classic. So the Harlem Globetrotters gave their own rendition in Michigan during our North American tour.”
So: did the event really fill the Winter Classic void?
Hardly. It was six days past New Year's, no one was wearing a fedora, and while there were plenty of bald guys, none of them could hold a candle Pierre McGuire.
(Because Pierre Maguire is highly flammable.)
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey